One of the fastest-growing cohorts facing homelessness and rough sleeping is women over 55, according to data captured by End Street Sleeping Collaboration’s (ESCC) ground-breaking technology system, the By-Name List (BNL).
“Women over 55 are at significant risk of housing and financial insecurity because of a multitude of factors, including lack of superannuation, working part time or casually through their lives, time out for family care and gender pay discrimination,” End Street Sleeping Collaboration Chief Executive Officer Graham West said.
“Add to that the increasingly unaffordable private rental market and age discrimination and you have a system that leads this vulnerable group into homelessness.”
The BNL digital case co-ordination system allows field workers to record the story of people who are homeless and better connect them with services.
It also saves clients from having to repeat their story.
BNL has captured the stories of more than 1,800 people who have experienced rough sleeping or other forms of homelessness (couch surfing, crisis, and temporary shelters).
“The data collected on our By Name List highlights that the number of people over the age of 50 sleeping rough are significantly overrepresented at 35% compared to 28% of the population of NSW,” Mr West said.
“No one should be sleeping rough or living with the fear of homelessness, particularly at this point of their lives.”
PAYCE Foundation Director and ESCC Board Member Dominic Sullivan said the results were a real eye opener.
“It is shocking to think that women who are over 55 are increasingly finding themselves homeless,’’ he said.
“The BNL is proving to be a highly effective tool in gathering data on who needs help and how best to connect them to the right services.’’