Origami homes highlight homelessness crisis

St Mary's School Lancefield students and their paper houses (supplied).

Macedon Ranges residents have been folding origami houses for Homelessness Week to highlight the scale of Victoria’s homelessness crisis.

These paper houses were presented at parliament on August 2, in a campaign to demand action for more social housing, ahead of Homelessness Week which runs from August 7 to 13.

Local schools and family day care services joined Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health, to make hundreds of houses, with St Mary’s Primary School in Lancefield producing over 500.

Community liaison leader Jo Shannon said it helped spark conversations about homelessness.

“The activity was a great conversation starter about what homelessness looks likes locally,” Ms Shannon said

“We talked about how we might not necessarily see people sleeping rough but how a homeless person could be sleeping in a car, a caravan, couch surfing, or living in hotel accommodation.

“The students were quite saddened to think there were so many people experiencing homelessness and wanted to know what they could do to help.”

The state target was to make 6000 paper houses to represent the number of social and affordable homes Victoria needs each year to ensure everyone has a roof over their head.

The campaign also calls for a national plan to end homelessness, with the latest census figures revealing at least 30,000 Victorians experience homelessness on any given night.

Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health’s housing service manager Justine Maher said more action is needed.

“Everybody deserves a safe home,” Ms Maher said.

“We need the government to act and commit to building enough affordable housing options both for families and for those living alone.”

Zoe Moffatt