‘Cold and scary’: our submission on homelessness

McAuley has made a submission to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness.

Our submission brings to life the stories and experiences of women in their own words.

They told us about being unsafe, tired, cold, afraid and hungry; of the pain of separation from their children; of being turned away in the middle of the night; of the frustrations of an overloaded homelessness system that hinders and frustrates as much as it helps.

We asked them what worked. They had many examples of what didn’t.

You are tired all the time, trying to figure out where to go next, how to get through the next day.

‘During winter, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes because it was so cold. Now when people complain about cold weather, I just smile…because I know what being cold is really like.

In our submission we also explained the key features of McAuley’s approach and how women’s homelessness differs from men’s.

We highlighted the fact that family violence is the main driver of homelessness, and gave our perspective on how systemic failings and shortcomings when women leave violent relationships too often means they end up homeless.