Perth family sleeps in their car

For the past three nights, Carla Davies and her family have been sleeping in their car in the Perth suburb of Balcatta.

The temperatures at midnight in Perth have been as high as 26 degrees Celsius during this time.

The family have little to no money and, since the breakup of Carla's 16-year relationship, she and her four children have no where to live.

Carla and the kids had been staying at her father's place but they were all moved on when is lease ran out.

Despite Kevin Rudd's assurances that he would get serious about Homelessness, the problem continues to increase seemingly unabated.

Two years ago to the day, Mr Rudd said, "We don't believe it is something which a country as wealthy as ours in the 21st century can just ignore".

"It is dead wrong that ... on any given night some 14,000 people are sleeping rough. We should not be allowing this to happen."


2006 Census Homelessness Figures

Of 105,000 homeless people in Australia on census night in 2006:[1]

* 56% were Male.
* 21% were between the age of 12-18.
* 12% were under the age of 12.
* 23% were staying in boarding houses.
* 45% were staying with friends and relatives.
* 16% were sleeping rough.
* 14% were staying in accommodation provided by the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP).

Homelessness defined: The ABS breaks the homeless numbers into 3 groups:

* Primary Homeless: People living on the streets
* Secondary Homeless: People staying in boarding houses or emergency accommodation
* Tertiary Homeless: People forced to stay temporarily with friends or relatives

Causes of homelessness according to the 2001 census

* Domestic and family violence (22%)
* Eviction/previous accommodation ended (11%)
* Relationship/family breakdown (11%)
* Usual accommodation unavailable (11%)
* Financial Difficulty (10%)


The political debate over the family's fate is already heating up.

Shadow minister for child protection Sue Ellery Told The West Australian newspaper, "It shouldn't be the case in an affluent community like WA that a mum and four children have to sleep in a car," Ms Ellery said.

Since the story made headlines, the family has been contacted by the office of the Minister for Child Protection. Carla is expected to meet with the Department today.

Photo credit: Sharon Smith -