A home should provide various types of safety
A home at the basic level provides safety from the elements, according to a recent report conducted by the Centre for Social Impact (UWA), 23.2% of respondents reported suffering from a history of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
The report also identified safety needs (broadly defined as the absence of feeling endangered), were the most frequently mentioned needs, 84% of respondents identified shelter as something they need in order to feel safe and well.
A home however, also provides physical safety in other ways:
Safety from others 52.5% of rough sleepers reported that they had been a victim of assault since they had become homeless.
Physical health: Many experiencing homelessness are more likely to suffer with physical ailments - Rates of cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and diabetes were substantially higher among respondents compared with the overall Australian population.
Immunisation among children who are experiencing homelessness is low and leads to increased risk of infectious diseases.
Crime: Whilst we know that no home is fully secure most West Australians leave their house each morning, with a feeling that their possessions are safe inside when they lock the door. For people experiencing homelessness many don’t have the option to store their belongings which leaves them vulnerable. For some living in crisis accommodation having a lock on their room door or window was essential for their sense of safety, while others agreed that having somewhere secure to store belonging so that they didn’t get stolen was essential.
39.8% of respondents reported that they had friends or family that steal their money, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, or coerce them to do things they don’t want to do.
38.9% of respondents report that they have people in their life whose company they do not enjoy but keep around out of convenience or necessity.