Border organisations have joined the fight to support those sleeping rough this national Homelessness Week.
Beyond Housing chief executive Celia Adams said housing insecurity was a growing issue on the Border.
She said 1193 people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless sought assistance at the Wodonga office last financial year.
“This is a 10 per cent increase on the previous year and 36 per cent of these people came with children,” she said.
“Almost half, 49 per cent, of those seeking help were single.
“We manage over 700 properties and provide support services to more than 5000 people annually, from Seymour through to Wodonga and Shepparton to Myrtleford.”
Beyond Housing joined with one of Wodonga’s North East Water and set a challenge for Border businesses to give staff the opportunity to regularly give back.
North East Water’s Managing Director, Craig Heiner said ‘A Home for Everyone’ was a simple way to enable employees to contribute directly from their fortnightly pay to raise money for housing initiatives in the region.
Ms Adams said families and individuals were doing it tough and congratulated North East Water on their initiative.
“As the figures show, there is more and more demand, so we are delighted to launch our giving program and have North East Water as the first organisation from government and business to support it,” she said.
“Every little bit helps and by working together as a regional community we have a better chance of achieving more understanding and support for people who are facing housing difficulties.”
Mr Heiner said it was important staff knew about the reality of homelessness and had the option to give back
“It’s a simple process to set-up and gives us and our staff an opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness in our area,” he said.
Money donated through the ‘A Home for Everyone’ campaign goes directly into service delivery or toward house building projects.
Beyond Housing said they do not use the money for overheads and businesses could contact Laura Harris, Business Development Manager at Beyond Housing for information on becoming involved in the ‘A House for Everyone’ initiative.
Wodonga Council and Hume Region Homelessness network will host activities and events across the Goulburn Ovens Murray region.
Monday’s council launch featured art, poetry and a display created by students about the meaning of home and a video showing residents who have experienced homelessness from the Border region.