Local community organisation, Roseberry Qld, is at the frontline of assisting Gladstone residents who are experiencing challenges that come with homelessness. National Homelessness Week is the annual awareness-raising campaign aiming to highlight the 116,000 Australians who are homeless on any given night.

To commemorate Homelessness Week, Roseberry QLD has set up a graphic display in front of their office on Dawson Highway. One hundred and forty-three beds represent the one hundred and forty-three people who have presented to access Roseberry QLD’s homelessness services in July.

Sherradean Stringer, Housing Manager at Roseberry QLD, said there are not so many rough sleepers in Gladstone, but more hidden homeless. “We have people in shelters, crisis accommodation, couch surfers, and problems with overcrowding; these are more of the issues that Gladstone is experiencing.”

Ms Stringer said that of the 143 people Roseberry QLD were only able to provide long term accommodation to two people and were able to find a bed at the shelter for just three people. “We were able to give the others food parcels and access to washing their clothes, but that is it,” Ms Stringer said.

Ms Stringer said that homelessness is not a problem isolated to big cities and towns. “It is a national problem, and we need a national solution to approach the issue of homelessness in Australia.”

Ms Stringer said that to assist in helping the homeless in the Gladstone Region, we need two things. “In our region, we need more social housing, but I think most importantly, we need funding for services to support those going from homelessness to long term housing. They need support so they can maintain and sustain tenancies and stop that cycle of homelessness which we see often.”