A message from Mayor Karen Vernon on homelessness in the Town

Published on 04 February 2021

a helping hand

Dear Vic Park residents,

There have been reports in the media today regarding our treatment of people experiencing homelessness in our community. I thought it was important to inform our community of how our team works with support workers to ensure the safety and health of our community.

This week we received community reports to attend what appeared to be abandoned mattresses, a blanket and pillow outside one of the doors of Leisurelife. RooForce officers at the location had spoken to regulars in the area who informed the rangers that no one knew who owned it and that the items had been unchanged for about a week. Rangers put illegal dumping stickers on it and started the abandoned goods process. Our team revisited on 29 January and noted there were no changes to the items or stickers. The rangers also left ‘Support for you and your family’ and City of Perth pamphlets on the mattress. This is a part of our Homelessness Policy commitment.

Rangers came back on 1 February and noted that there were no signs anyone had slept on the mattress and the pamphlets had been ripped up. The ranger believed the items were in a state that no one would want to use so assigned for waste to dispose of them.

I want to assure our community that the Town did not issue an infringement to the owner of these items at any time.  The illegal dumping stickers are not infringements.

Your Town of Victoria Park Council has always recognised that people experiencing homelessness are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our community. Our team are dedicated to show respect, compassion and care when interacting with these members of our community. In this instance, rangers did not come into contact with the homeless individual to have a chat with, and believed the goods had been abandoned. As per the policy, our team made all reasonable endeavours to notify any person claiming ownership of the items by placing the stickers, and leaving information about services, resources and facilities available for homeless individuals.

The Town also has an obligation, particularly in the current situation of a lockdown, to proactively ensure public spaces and amenities are clean, safe and inclusive. Our team will work with local service providers this evening and make every effort to check on the welfare of the individual identified in the media article today. 

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