Letter to the editor: We need a homelessness week push

Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

Homelessness week is a perfect time to relaunch the campaign to combat homelessness in the region. In 2015 a united effort saw the Riv run front page articles, the shire offer land with business support through Committee for Echuca-Moama. Let’s see these community influencers come together again.

Currently the town is experiencing a housing boom of over 5000 new houses. The developers, who will profit from building new communities, only need to share a small portion from each sale to get the homeless support facility off the ground. For example, $1000 per home results in multiple millions to get the project running.

The council re-offers the land, the developers chip in building materials and labour and finally the community can provide the furnishings.

It has potential to get off the ground. What a great initiative for developers to put their name on. What a great facility for the humanity of the region.

It would give Echuca-Moama a much needed hub with temporary accommodation, on site support services and possibly a laundromat, food swap, op shop and domestic violence support services all in one place.

The houses don’t have to be big and fancy. Make the houses cheap to run and comfortable in a warming climate with features like secure, light coloured roof, insulated, no gas connections, reverse-cycle air conditioner, heat pump hot water system, solar powered, battery ready, shade trees and a park nearby.

New homes in the estates will have a secure garage to house a vehicle, surely we can spare a bit to house some people in need of a chance to improve their lives.

Projects like this will make the region more resilient in a time that is becoming more difficult for some of us.

Kevin L’Huillier, Koyuga

Homelessness week is from August 1 to 7. In Australia there are more than 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. Homelessness Week aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness in Australia via national and local community events, including providing information on the importance of housing as a solution and educating communities on how they can make a difference.