YFCC once again hosted a luncheon event in early August to mark Homelessness Week. Over 50 guests attended the luncheon held at the Gateway Hotel in Devonport.

Guests included Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Housing Roger Jaensch, Devonport Mayor Annette Rockliff and a wide range of local government and community service providers.

Bella Fountain from Colony 47 was the first guest speaker, challenging people’s perceptions of homelessness and giving some thought provoking examples of how and why our communities respond to different incidences of homelessness. Why is it our communities can jump into action and provide immediate solutions for those people unfortunately experiencing homelessness due to bush fires and the like, but are not so responsive and more judgemental of the plight of people experiencing homelessness on a day to day basis?

The main guest speaker for the event was the Hon. Roger Jaensch MP, who provided a brief overview of some of the strategies the State Government are implementing to address housing issues in the state but also reinforced Bella’s message and further challenged the community to consider its perception of people experiencing homelessness. He reminded us that all of us were only a few decisions away from experiencing this ourselves.

The event also provided an opportunity to view the winning HELP Film Festival entry produced by Launceston College, entitled “The Vulnerability”.

The event closed with the first performance of Community Voices Project choir.

The Community Voices Project aims to support young people, at risk of long-term welfare dependence, to develop informal social connections and professional networks that could assist them to find employment. The choir was established only 6 weeks ago and meets once a week at the East Devonport Recreation Centre.

Participants also have access to two full time project workers who provide individual case management and referral to assist with a range of biopsychosocial barriers, education and employment planning and support.