The West

Residents offer homeless solutions
Port Kennedy man Keven Kerrison says he wants to create a village for people experiencing homelessness.

Fresh ideas to help Rockingham's homeless have emerged as community members step up to help solve the growing issue.

A village, sleeper bus and drop-in centre are among the concepts which have sprung up.

Port Kennedy man Keven Kerrison, a former construction worker now studying community services, said he wanted to help change the situation by building a village for people experiencing homelessness called "Calyute Village".

Mr Kerrison has partnered up with Jonathan Shapiera - who was homelessness for 18 months and shone a light on the issue at a Federal level - to try to get the idea off the ground.

He said the village was inspired by the homeless camp Quixote Village in Washington state and would have houses and communal facilities, including a kitchen, dining room, TV room, laundry, toilets, showers and carpark.

"The plan would be for this village to be the second stepping stone to help people get back into mainstream housing," he said.

"I just want people to realise they (the homeless) are part of our community family and it is our responsibility to look after our family."

Mr Kerrison said he was on the hunt for land, and philanthropists and construction companies willing to help make the idea a reality.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said Mr Kerrison had been invited to address next month's Rockingham Kwinana Homelessness Inter-Agency Group meeting to determine if there was any interest in his idea from not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Shapiera said a solution was desperately needed and he would work with Mr Kerrison to gain support for the village.

On top of this, Mr Shapiera said his next goal was to acquire funding for a drop-in centre and sleeper bus, which would give people sleeping rough along the coast the opportunity to get off the streets for the night.

Mr Shapiera hopes to have the opportunity to raise the ideas in front of the Senate Economics Committee when it comes to Perth for its inquiry into affordable housing.

He said he was also looking for a not-for-profit organisation to support the ideas, or establish a not-for-profit organisation himself.

Further to the ideas, a feasibility study on homelessness in the region, funded by the City and organised by the Rotary Club of Rockingham, was completed last week.

Rockingham Rotary homelessness committee chairman Peter Philipps said the results of the study were being looked at and the club would decide its next move during the month.

Residents interested in helping Mr Kerrison and Mr Shapiera can email and .

The West Australian

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