Is ‘hidden homeless’ Word of the Year?
With ‘hidden homeless’ making the shortlist for Macquarie Dictionary’s 2022 word of the year, homelessness charity Mission Australia is urging the public to vote for the term as 2022’s defining word by 28 November, so efforts to end hidden homelessness remain firmly on Australia’s hearts, minds and agenda into the new year.
Sharon Callister is Mission Australia’s CEO.
“For ‘hidden homeless’ to make the shortlist for Word of the Year, it’s clear that people care about the increasing number of people in insecure, unsafe and precarious housing situations,” Ms Callister said.
“While many of us have taken comfort in the safety of our homes throughout the pandemic, not everyone feels so lucky.”
“Australians are increasingly aware that many people are homeless (many for the first time in their lives) and more are at increased risk of becoming homeless because of the extraordinary challenges faced in 2022.
“The escalating cost of living, tight and unaffordable rental markets, and destructive floods have added to unacceptable levels of poverty and homelessness in our society, which are further worsened by a severe shortage of social and affordable homes and inadequate rates of income support.
In Australia, an estimated 116,000 are homeless. ‘Hidden homelessness’ refers to how most of these are unseen, with the majority not ‘sleeping rough’ on the streets. Ms Callister said that people experiencing homelessness are more likely to be living in unsafe or insecure spaces like a car, temporary accommodation, a garage, or couch surfing.
“Along with many others, Mission Australia works tirelessly to keep housing and homelessness on the public agenda. So, we ask the community to vote to name ‘hidden homeless’ as Word of the Year, so we can keep up the momentum, action, awareness and compassion on this important issue,” said Ms Callister.