Homelessness and begging in Subiaco
The City of Subiaco, like many busy inner city locations, can be an attractive area for vulnerable community members to sleep rough or beg. Homelessness is a complicated issue which requires cooperation between many organisations and individuals working together. To help explain the role of the city and community members in the issue we have put together the following information as a guide.
It is not illegal to beg or rough sleep in public places, and a person cannot be arrested or moved on simply for sleeping rough or begging. However there are some circumstances where the WA Police are able to respond. This is where an illegal activity has occurred, and may include (but not limited to) trespass on private property, street drinking and aggressive or antisocial behaviours. In this situation the WA Police should be contacted on 131 444 or 000 (in emergency situations only).
There are a number of people who call Subiaco home, but not all of them have a house. For a variety of reasons people may be homeless or have no fixed address. This can include people sleeping in parks, cars, building alcoves or even couch surfing.
The city is working in partnership with The Salvation Army Floreat to provide outreach services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness within our community. These services initially consist of food and essential toiletry kits, but once relationships are established they will extend to assistance in finding housing and other community services. The Salvation Army is also providing a weekly lunch for the homeless and unemployed at Employment Plus and providing showers and emergency clothes and food supplies at the Salvation Army in Floreat.
As Subiaco has a high traffic flow, it is a spot some people choose to beg. Some of the people begging are homeless and in need of food and basic requirements to survive, while others are from low income houses and at risk of becoming homeless, both within our community and outside.
What can I do to help?
Many people in our community want to help people who have found themselves in these situations, but may not know the best way to do this. To assist members of the community the city has been working with the local police and community service organisations to provide some advice.
- Do not donate directly to beggars or people asking for donations (food, cash or other items). If you would like to donate please contact one of the community service organisations listed below who provide services within our local community. This will also discourage people who are begging within Subiaco and not wanting money for food, shelter and essential services.
- Contact the city and advise them of locations where you have seen people sleeping rough or begging. Please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9237 9222.
- If you see someone who is sleeping rough or begging and is also undertaking an illegal activity, for example street drinking, indecent exposure, threatening or undertaking violence, please call the police on 131 444 unless it is an emergency and then call 000 (or 112 or 106 from some mobiles).
Community service organisations
The Salvation Army
The City of Subiaco works with the Salvation Army to provide outreach services to people sleeping rough within the city. If you see someone who is homeless or would like to donate money or volunteer please contact the Salvos.
T: 9383 9034
St Vincent to Paul
Is a national organisation with a local conference in Subiaco that covers Subiaco, Shenton Park, Daglish and East and West Perth. In addition to food and clothing vouchers, bill assistance, financial counselling and help to set up a new house, they supply emergency relief to individual and families.
Emergency relief: 1300 794 054
General enquiries: 08 6323 7500
Donations: email@example.com or 13 18 13
Other services and organisations
There are a large number of other services spread across Perth working to address homelessness. Many of these provide services to people within the City of Subiaco.
The City of Perth and the Western Australia Department for Child Protection and Family Support have put together a brochure outlining homelessness services. Access the brochure on the City of Perth website.
Crisis Care, Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support)
Crisis Care is a telephone information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent help.
T: 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008
Crisis Care can be accessed through the translating and interpreting service on 13 14 50. For more information visit the Crisis Care Helpline webpage.
Entry Point Perth
Entrypoint Perth is committed to working with people respectfully and finding solutions to their accommodation crisis.
T: 6496 0001 or 1800 124 684 or (after hours) 1800 199 008
RUAH Street to Home
Ruah Community Services is committed to ending homelessness. They provide free access to housing and homelessness services.
T: 13 RUAH (13 7824)
W: Ruah website – Housing and Homelessness page
F: 50 Lives 50 Homes Facebook page
UnitingCare West – Street to home
Street to Home assists people who are sleeping rough to access stable accommodation and address the issues surrounding their homelessness.
T: 9220 1288
W: UnitingCare West website – Street to Home page