Journalist and Former Editor of Better Homes and Gardens, Julia Zaetta, writes about a subject close to her heart – how to stop homelessness particularly for women.
When your amazing singing voice touches people’s souls, you can help those in need. And right now, the spellbinding voice of Siala is helping homeless women in Australia.
19-year-old Siala first rose to fame on The Voice Australia earlier this year, when she was living in a women’s shelter with her mum and five siblings, after escaping domestic violence, which she first experienced at just five-years-old. Having spent the majority of her life in and out of homelessness, she is passionate about using her platform to make a positive change for those experiencing the issue and to change attitudes that encapsulates how homelessness can happen to anyone.
The Body Shop, a brand deeply rooted in activism, has teamed up with Siala to produce a new cover of her iconic 90s’ anthem Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) for the for the launch of its 2020 Christmas campaign. Because surprisingly, there is little clear understanding of women’s homelessness in Australia.
They have also joined with Launch Housing, a community organisation passionately committed to ending homelessness and importantly, to overcome the misconceptions of female homelessness that prevent the extent of help that is needed.
New Body Shop research reveals that over one in three, 35%, of Australian women say they, or someone they know, has experienced homelessness, while data shows that in fact, 61% of those who accessed homelessness services from January-June 2020 were women.
Launch Housing’s, Howard Ralley, explains ‘This narrow understanding of homelessness is in part due to the fact that many of those experiencing the issue may not immediately appear to be homeless, including those who are living in hostels, squatting, couch surfing or living in their car. And as women experiencing homelessness often avoid sleeping rough, due to safety concerns, many of us are unaware of the extent of, or contributors to female homelessness in Australia in particular. It’s really important for us to highlight these realities and generate more empathy for the issue, because, with empathy and public support, we can generate real change’.
Shannon Chrisp, The Body Shop Australia’s Marketing Director says ‘In a year that has seen female unemployment and domestic violence cases on the rise we wish to raise awareness and inspire everyone to take small actions to create big change’.
Thankfully, The Body Shop’s research reveals that 91% of Australians agree that it is time we do more to end homelessness, and 86% agree that we all have a role to play in ending homelessness. A further 91% say that the government needs to do more to end homelessness, with 89% citing mental health support as a key issue followed by affordable housing (86%), and domestic violence prevention (84%).
To help Australians make a difference this Christmas, every purchase at The Body Shop will go towards donating a portion of the profits to support a national program from Launch Housing providing immediate financial assistance to women and children experiencing homelessness as a result of domestic and family violence, so they can access and keep housing.