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Up to date COVID-19 advice from the WA Health Department: HERE

Up to date COVID-19 advice from the Australian Health Department: HERE

The effects of coronavirus are far-reaching and devastating, and its during these times sometimes the most forgotten members of society can suffer the most.

When it comes to our state’s homeless population, the State Government has recently set up a taskforce with a variety of different service organisations to examine how best to reduce risk for people living on the streets when it comes to COVID-19.

One aspect of this will be the commencement of a one-month trial of the ‘Hotels With Heart’ program. To begin with, 20 homeless people who unable to self-isolate if they get sick will be housed at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth.

If it is successful, the program will then expand out, taking up 120 rooms at the Pan Pacific and opening up to victims of domestic violence or those experiencing mental health issues, along with homelessness.

On the trial, Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said, “Many people experiencing homelessness have chronic health and mental health issues. The ‘Hotels With Heart’ pilot learns from similar initiatives happening interstate and around the world, including in the UK, America and Canada. With the help of community service organisations, this initiative will take the pressure off the health system in Western Australia and potentially help to flatten the curve as the State fights to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

In a Facebook post earlier this morning, Member For Perth John Carey said, “I want to strongly congratulate the Pan Pacific Hotel Perth and their Manager Rob Weeden for this positive and strong contribution during this difficult time. I also want to acknowledge all the service organisations in the homelessness sector working hard to develop a wide ranging practical response to this crisis.”

If nothing else, it seems like coronavirus is bringing our communities together in positive ways we’ve never seen before, and that’s something to savour in such trying times.

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