The Homeless Crisis For Women Over 55
There is a silent crisis rapidly rising in the women in our world – women over the age of 55 in Australia who are the fastest group experiencing homelessness. This is an age when most of us plan to settle into life, adventure, community and family.
Instead an insane – yes insane – amount of them are suffering homelessness, sleeping rough and couch surfing. Hidden in plain sight
In this episode of Raise 1000 Voices, we speak with Teresa Reed about her remarkable advocacy – The Forgotten Women Project: addressing homelessness in vulnerable women. Teresa is committed personally and professionally to helping the homeless live with dignity and security.
The Forgotten Women Project anchors itself in surprisingly practical and accessible solutions to change the future for dozens of women – and in doing so Teresa is giving tangible hope to the “hidden homeless”, the vulnerable older women with no financial means to afford their own homes, or to even stay in the ‘housing market’.
There are a multitude of factors that lead to vulnerable older women being homeless – including the lack of financial education, divorce and relationship breakdown, the stigma of seeking any assistance felt by women, and the absence of affordable housing options to name just a few.
Teresa shares stories that will stop your heart and jolt your world. And this is why her work matters – and why you simply must listen to this conversation on Raise 1000 Voices.
WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER IN THIS EPISODE:
- An overview of Teresa’s career and life (02:08)
- The importance of having a holistic view in Human Services (03:09)
- The discrepancy between the number of housing available and the actual number needed (05:05)
- Teresa’s transition journey of helping the homeless (06:48)
- Why a particular age group of women is not showing up in access points (08:55)
- Two ways that The Forgotten Women helps the homeless (11:20)
- What are some of the challenges in their organisation? (13:09)
- Outstanding stories of homeless women that made an impact on Teresa (16:10)
- The importance of teaching women financial education (22:43)
- The difference of stigma in being homeless in other age brackets (23:47)
- The value of having a safe space for starting conversations (26:33)
- New opportunities to combat homelessness (28:39)
- What to expect in the Live Like Her Challenge (34:12)
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“A house is one thing, a job is another thing that you need and you keep moving your way up to get those to make your quality of life improved.” -Teresa Reed
“For us, it’s about making sure that these women stay where they are – ageing in place in the communities that they’re in and connecting. Because disconnecting them from their communities is a huge problem.” -Teresa Reed
“We’ve got these spaces that could be used, but no one can tick a box to say yes.” -Jacqueline Nagle
Raise 1000 Voices Episode 016: Embracing The Mess in the Midlife Turning Point With Kate Billing
Live Like Her Challenge
WHERE TO FIND TERESA REED
ABOUT TERESA REED
Teresa Reed has a personal and professional commitment to helping people experiencing homelessness to live with dignity. She is the powerhouse behind the initiative The Forgotten Women, which is focused on housing women over 55 – the fastest growing demographic of homelessness in Australia. Working tirelessly with partners and donors, Teresa is constantly driving her property acquisition strategy to be able house as many vulnerable older women in our community as possible.
Additionally, she has implemented revenue diversification strategies by establishing two subsidiary companies that give back all profits to The Forgotten Women charity. Teresa is currently the CEO of Mangrove Housing Limited, a community housing provider which assists over 1,200 clients every year. Her committed leadership has been instrumental in transforming the service offering to ensure wraparound support for every client, including The Forgotten Women. Rarely sitting still, Teresa is constantly spreading awareness as everyone deserve a place to live.