Heart for the Homeless logo: A red heart with the words "Sonshine FM" written inside, symbolizing support for the homeless community.

Perth’s housing crisis has seen many people asking homeless service providers, like Uniting WA, for help because they can’t afford a place to stay. Uniting WA provide community services including children, family and foster care services, NDIS disability, advocacy and mental health services, as well as financial wellbeing, homelessness and housing support.

The Growing Demand for Help

The cost of living crisis has been widely reported, but Jen Park Co-CEO of Uniting WA, emphasises the personal impact: “People who have never been homeless are now seeking help.” Rising rents and mortgages have forced many into their cars, trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Families, often with children, are particularly affected. Demand at their, Tranby Engagement Hub on Aberdeen Street, has surged dramatically. “In February, we had 440 people in a five-hour window,” Jen shares. Which is a stark increase from 120 people on a busy day 18 months ago.

Misconceptions about Homelessness

A prevalent misconception is that homelessness results from poor choices. Jen counters this notion: “It could impact any one of us.” With ongoing cost increases and no relief in sight, many are precariously close to financial instability. Jen recounts stories of families thrust into homelessness due to job losses or family breakdowns. “They are educated individuals who, for various reasons, find themselves on the streets.” New to homelessness, these individuals face a daunting reality, vulnerable and uncertain where to find help.

How to Help

Last winter was one of the coldest and wettest Perth has seen in years, with thousands of West Australians going through through it with no roof over their head, or warm place to sleep. So this month we are partnering with Uniting WA, St. Pat’s, St. Bart’s, to collect new sleeping bags, warm clothing, toiletries, and sanitary items to show our Heart for the Homeless.

Details on donation locations and items can be found here.

Listen to the full conversation below!