The Forgotten Women Project
There are more than 40,000 Queensland women over the age of 55 who are doing it tough - suffering financial hardship driven by rising living costs, lack of employment, limited or no superannuation and a lack of affordable housing options. Alarmingly, recent forecasts predict that this figure is set to double by 2036.
Women experiencing homelessness are significantly less visible and identifiable than their male counterparts, often being described as the ‘hidden homeless’. Vulnerable older women are more likely to be staying with friends, living in a car or physically ‘hiding’.
The Forgotten Women is a unique, grassroots housing initiative for homeless women over 55. The project's mission is to put a roof over the heads of as many of these vulnerable women as possible. Through the acquisition of suitable properties, The Forgotten Women project will ensure these women have access to secure, safe and affordable housing options that enable them to age in place.
WOMEN OVER 55 ARE THE FASTEST GROWING HOMELESS POPULATION IN AUSTRALIA
lack of financial resources:
equal pay wasn’t granted until 1969
superannuation wasn’t compulsory until 1992
between 1940 - 1960 women accounted for
only 25% of the workforce
equal opportunity wasn’t enacted
until the 1980’s
gaps in workforce participation to raise
children (baby boomers)
separated and/or windowed
fear & stigma:
A large majority of these women have limited or no prior experience of having to seek assistance and therefore lack an of understanding of
the service systems available to them
generational stigma associated with seeking welfare assistance
reluctance to identify as living in poverty or homeless
Australia is in the midst of an Affordable Housing crisis
as the cost of housing rises so too does the physical distance between where they live now and where there are affordable housing options
removing women from the areas in which they have established social and support networks only seeks to isolate them further
inability to age in place
at risk of premature entry into the aged care system
Our Annual Major Fundraiser: The Live Like Her Challenge
The Live Like Her Challenge is the major fundraiser for The Forgotten Women.
It is an event held in early September were participants spends one night sleeping in their car, symbolizing the challenging circumstances of The Forgotten Women, who endure this reality on a daily basis, and in doing so fundraise crucial money to house these women into safe and secure housing.
In its second year, the Live Like Her Challenge built on the success of its inaugural event, which raised $105,000 with nearly 50 cars. This year, more than doubling these numbers, with 178 individuals in 114 cars participating and raising $246,034.