Booming tourism and a tightening real estate market has created a new class of homeless in regional NSW.
An emerging class of homelessness sees skilled professionals sleeping in their cars as the rental market tightens. They are the paid professionals, with full-time, consistent work, who are finding themselves sleeping in their cars as short- and long-term accommodation becomes increasingly elusive in the current housing environment.
Now, some locals are opening their homes to complete strangers just to keep them off the streets. When Suman was offered the head chef role at one of Orange's nursing homes, he transferred within his current company to move to the region and the future seemed bright.
Suman and Dinesh Poudel hail from the Himalayas in Nepal and when they moved to Orange, they applied for more than 20 rental properties, all of which were rejected. In desperation, just days away from having to leave Sydney for Orange, he posted a notice on a local community facebook group.
Local pianist, Debbie Nicholls was happily living on her own when she saw the post on Facebook, and “couldn't bear the thought of them just not having anywhere to eat and shower and sleep."
The Poudels' story is not unique and with the economic impact of COVID impacting families and communities across Australia invisible homelessness is becoming all too common.