Several Archdiocesan agency directors and representatives from across the Archdiocese have last week Thursday 16 May come together for the launch of the Poverty, Homelessness and Migrants in Western Australia Report.
The report by the University of Notre Dame Australia and commissioned by the Archdiocese of Perth, is the first one of a series of planned, annual research reports that will provide a better understanding of key issues impacting on the delivery of social outreach services in the Australian context in general and the Perth metropolitan area in particular.
Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton was in attendance and highlighted the importance of these findings in the context of the Church’s ongoing provision of social outreach and support services.
Speaking about the development of the research, Project Leader Dr Martin Drum from UNDA highlighted that the report uses important data on emerging groups of people in our community who are being impacted by these issues.
In 2016, the Census of Population and Housing stated that Australia’s rate of homelessness has increased 4.6 per cent since 2011 and that more than 116,000 Australians are categorised as homeless, an estimated 9,000 of whom live in WA.
The study classifies homelessness according to three distinct levels of access to accommodation and basic resources, a definition it shares with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In the area of Outreach to Those in Need, one of the seven priority areas of the Archdiocesan Plan, the Archdiocese aims to deliver an informed and practical response to people in need, in the context of Catholic Social Teaching and with reference to an understanding of the prevailing community, social and economic environments.
As a result, the Archdiocese established a research relationship with the University of Notre Dame Australia to ensure that the delivery of our social outreach services was based on contemporary data and information that identified the trends and needs in our society.
The research will guide CSSWA’s decisions in the placement of its resources in this area.
By Eric Martin
This article first appeared in The Record and is republished with permission.