HELPING HAND: Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre employees Desley Hedges, Rhianna Jamieson, Skye Sattler and Rachael Wood.
HELPING HAND: Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre employees Desley Hedges, Rhianna Jamieson, Skye Sattler and Rachael Wood.

Research shows regional women more likely to face homelessness

NEW research has shown women in regional Queensland are more likely to face homelessness.

Granite Belt Neighbour Centre marketing officer Skye Sattler said this was true, with women having a higher rate of homelessness than men.

"We do mostly find women are the ones to become homeless, due to domestic violence and other related issues," Ms Sattler said.

She said while there were several services available, people often didn't know where to turn for assistance.

"A lot of people don't know where to speak out or how to ask for help.

"There are so many resources available out there for people to get the help they need."

Ms Sattler said although there was no emergency housing in Stanthorpe, the Granite Belt Neighbour Centre could provide temporarily solutions.

"We can help with short term accommodation. With our emergency relief funds we can help them out and put them in a hotel for a night until they can find somewhere that is safe.

"There are all sorts of services."

As for those who are scared to speak out and ask for help, she said it would prove to be beneficial in the long run.

"It is always better to seek professional help.

"It's about awareness and letting people know this is what we offer and this is how we can help."

Studies found one in eight women on low to moderate incomes had been homeless in the past five years.

YWCA National Housing and Property Development director Jan Berriman said the report revealed higher levels of homelessness than previous studies and statistics had shown.

"One quarter of women who had been homeless, either in the past five years or currently, did not share their situation with any family member or friend," Ms Berriman said.

"This reflects the likelihood of a much higher level of homelessness than previously understood," Ms Berriman said.

Ms Berriman said the number of women facing these issues was expected to increase in the aftermath of bushfires, droughts and the coronavirus pandemic.

"Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women in Australia.

"We need to urgently double and diversify affordable housing options in the regions or face a tsunami of homeless women and children."

Statistics taken from YWCA National Housing and Property Development Women's Housing Needs in Regional Australia report.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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