Our community’s most vulnerable citizens are living without the financial stability required to access education, achieve general health standards and improve their quality of living. Whilst unemployment statistics have held steady over the last few years, under-employment has been sitting at a record high and growing. As of February 2019, there are over 1.1 million underemployed Australians with another 666,700 currently unemployed – This is a National crisis. Long term unemployment and underemployment is highly linked to unstable housing situations and quality of living.
In WA, rates of homelessness and rough sleepers are increasingly on the rise with around 9,000 people on the streets each night and another 7,000 in insecure housing situations. Those experiencing homelessness are faced with a myriad of problems such as poor health and a lack of access to healthcare services, higher rates of assault and sexual assault and higher interactions with the justice system. In addition to the vast detrimental impact to these individual’s quality of life, there are also large social and economic costs to our society.
What We Do
United Way WA delivers a range of intervention and collaborative initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for those experiencing financial instability or at risk of homelessness. Our community will only prosper and grow if all families are financially stable leading to healthier lives, improved work performance, and better education outcomes. We work together with local businesses, support groups and community members to tackle these complex issues for successful and sustainable solutions.
Supporting people experiencing homelessness
Food insecurity is one of the highest reported issues for people experiencing homelessness or near homeless financial situations. With the help of our corporate volunteers we run a free, monthly BBQ luncheon with community partner HOPE, who support people at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. Every month our team cooks for and serves 80 to 120 people at a safe social gathering, that not only provides full bellies but also breaks down barriers through the process of sharing a meal and connecting with a community.
Supporting elderly, frail and isolated people
Our community’s elderly, frail and otherwise isolated people often do not have the mobility to care for their homes and gardens, or the financial option of hiring someone to help. By working with our community partners such as People Who Care and with the help of our corporate volunteers, we support isolated people by providing much needed garden maintenance and clearing, ensuring they have a cared for and safe property again. We also run vibrant luncheons that not only provide a large, hot meal, but also an important opportunity to connect and socialise with peers and the community.
Supporting women experiencing domestic violence
Women who experience family and domestic violence are often left in situations of financial instability and hopelessness. By working with our community partners such as Zonta House, we are able to support women in emergency accommodation with our teams of corporate volunteers. Together we complete vital home maintenance and gardening tasks that also help create a sense of community and hope for the women who access Zonta House’s services.
Mentoring people to gain employment
Our new Right To Work program focuses around skills development and mentoring support to those who are ready to prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce. We know that financial stability is a key pillar to being able to engage in a happy life. Our programs are designed to help participants experiencing barriers and disadvantage to establish a network of support, develop strategies and identify resources to help find them employment – all to give them back stability and open up their choices.