Temporary Women's Shelter Approved in Perth, Amidst Concerns

Temporary Women's Shelter Approved in Perth, Amidst Concerns

The City of Perth has approved the establishment of a temporary women's overnight shelter in Northbridge. This decision comes after months of debate between Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas and the state government over the service's funding and location.

The Safe Night Space service, which provides shelter for women experiencing homelessness, was previously forced to close due to a lack of funding and a suitable location. Mr. Zempilas initially opposed the relocation of the service to Northbridge, citing concerns about its proximity to the entertainment precinct and residential areas.

However, a stalemate emerged when the state government refused to fund the service at an alternative location proposed by Mr. Zempilas. Faced with the possibility of legal action by Ruah, the operator of the service, the council ultimately approved the Northbridge location, albeit with certain conditions.

These conditions include the presence of a security guard outside the facility, regular engagement with the neighborhood group, and approval by the City of Perth for any measures taken to address operational issues. Mr. Zempilas emphasized that the conditions were intended to ensure the service operated in a responsible manner, rather than as a means to shut it down.

Despite the approval, concerns remain about the suitability of the Northbridge location. Some councilors believe a less densely populated area would be more appropriate. Ruah is also anxious about the potential impact of the conditions on the service's operations. Ultimately, the goal is to find a permanent solution that eliminates the need for temporary shelters and provides stable housing for women experiencing homelessness.