The high demand for homelessness services on the North-West has resulted in the busiest month for the Burnie Safe Space since it opened a year ago.
The lack of housing is an issue, according to safe space manager Nathan Hughes.
“We are seeing a lot of people new to homelessness and the winter months are very hard for those sleeping rough,” he said. “There are many faces of homelessness and it is usually not what people think. We find 66 per cent of people we see come from family and relationship breakdowns and through no fault of their own.”
More progress needs to be made on the Burnie Youth Foyer which is set to open in 2022, Labor housing spokeswoman Anita Dow says.
“In the middle of another freezing Tasmanian winter much more needs to be done by Housing Minister Michael Ferguson to ensure Tasmanians experiencing homelessness have access to the support services and emergency accommodation they need right now no matter where they live across our state,” she said.
Mr Ferguson said on Saturday the government would advertise for grant proposals from non-government organisations to provide the Youth2Independence program for 25 people in Burnie.
The program for 16 to 24-year-olds aims to support young people in education and employment pathways so they transition to becoming independent adults.
“We have been working closely with stakeholders to ensure the Burnie facility’s operational model will be successful for young people, education facilities and the local community,” he said.
There is a waitlist for the 25 units catered towards young people to access housing at Devonport’s Eveline House.
Anglicare’s General Manager Housing and Community Services Noel Mundy said the Burnie centre was an “important initiative to help address youth homelessness in our state”.
“It’s about recognising young people as valued members of the local community and encouraging them to see where they can make a contribution,” Mr Mundy said.