Interview with Jason – Homeless Fremantle Person

For the past 14 months, Jason (last name withheld at his request) has been homeless in and around Fremantle.

By accepted measures, Jason would be regarded as ‘chronically homeless’ as he has ‘slept rough or in emergency accomodation for the past 6 months’.

In recent times, Jason’s situation has come to the attention of many Freo people, especially those doing their shopping at Peaches and IGA and the other shops at the South Fremantle Shopping Centre on Hampton Road where Jason can often be found.

More recently, Jason’s situation has also been highlighted on social media.

A good number of Freo people have found the time to stop and say hello to Jason when doing their shopping, something he plainly has appreciated.

Homelessness is a major issue in Australia and has been for some time. And Fremantle is not exempt. Indeed some see it as a major issue in Freo.

Many approaches have been adopted by Governments over the decades to respond to homelessness. In a recent major report entitled Ending Homelessness in Australia by the Centre for Social Impact at UWA and UNSW, on which we reported earlier this year, the authors discuss these past and current approaches.

The authors also indicate they are encouraged by the recent Advance to Zero approach to homelessness which seeks to focus on a person-centred, Housing First approach in specific communities, putting community-owned, near-to-real-time data about individuals’ needs at the centre of decision making and the system itself.

The aim, the authors emphasise, must be to end homelessness, not just to live with it.

Jason kindly agree to sit down with our editor, Michael Barker, to discuss his own circumstances of homelessness, how he came to be homeless in Freo, the challenges of being homeless, as well as the larger issue of homelessness, and how we, as a Freo community, might try to respond to it.

We are grateful to Jason for agreeing to share his story, experiences and thoughts with the Fremantle community.

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