A youth crisis accommodation facility will open in Busselton this week to help meet the demand of homelessness in the community.
South West homelessness advocates say the issue is more prominent in the region than meets the eye.
Their comments follow Youth Homelessness Matters Day on Wednesday April 18, when it was revealed 105,000 Australians were homeless and 42 per cent of these people were under 25-years-old.
AccordWest, which offers crisis and transitional accommodation in Busselton and Bunbury, is opening the four bedroom house for 18 to 24-year-olds in need.
Unlike its youth program in Bunbury, this project isn’t funded and the organisation is drawing on its own reserves.
AccordWest chief executive officer Neil Hamilton said there had been numerous calls for the last decade for this facility in Busselton but it had never received the funding required.
Mr Neil Hamilton said more often than not, the existing residences in Bunbury and Busselton were at capacity.
He said attaining funding in the South West was difficult as the statistics on homelessness weren’t accurate.
“The last Census said there was only one homeless person in Busselton and that is not the case. It is like it is invisible,” he said.
Just Home Margaret River housing advocacy officer Katie Gray and Salvation Army Busselton church minister Jason Dannock agree.
“What we see varies from season to season, a lot it is hidden from view,” Mr Dannock said.
Ms Gray said it was a much bigger issue than people realised.
In an effort to ascertain accurate data on homelessness in the South West, Just Home will be running a registry week at the end of May.
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