Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Notes from a crisis : Homelessness in #Ballarat : Feedback from a Forum

Cross-posted from Beside The Creek
The blog of the Ballarat Interfaith Network.

The above PowerPoint presentation
has been gathered and edited  from 
the feedback of participants at the Forum.
Not only can it be viewd on line -
it can be downloaded and screened.
Please give it wide coverage in your groups and associations/
Please encourage people to attend the next Forum on 9 October.
Details to be announced

On 21 August 2015, approximately 80 people gathered at the Eastwood Leisure Centre in Ballarat for a Forum on Homelessness. The place was packed. The place was lively. 

People working in organisations related to Homelessness were present. Some of these gave presentations of their work. Most of these were in government funded organisations but there were some present who received no government funding whatsoever and relied wholly on community support to fund their activities.  Prominent among the latter was The Soup Bus - a well known #Ballarat institution.  

A favourite of many people was Josh Wilkins, the founder of One Voice.  One Voice operates without government funding and provides free, clean shower facilities for homeless people.  Keep watch because there may be a #Ballarat version pop up thanks to the energies of local people.  A bus has already been given for the purpose but there is much more to be done before bus and showers can hit the road. Josh said that his ambition is to become like the community of Sant'Egidio in Italy who started small but now have moved on to providing health care and facilities.  

There were people from the general community who were concerned about Homelessness and who were seeking solutions to this grave problem. The forum was co-sponsored by Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and Ballarat Interfaith Network. Many thanks to Father Constantine Osuchukwu (Treasurer, B.I.N. and Interfaith Officer, BRMC) and Margaret Lenan Ellis (Public Relations Officer, B.I.N.) who were at the forefront of organising the Forum and a special thanks for the great job that Father Constantine did in chairing proceedings.

If you attended, the Homelessness Forum or if you were prevented from attending, another gathering will be held on 9 October. Stay tuned for further details.

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