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Our mums and nannas are the new homeless
Please humour me for a minute. I'd like you to close your eyes and think back to your fondest memory of your mother ... your delightful, beautiful, hard-working Aussie mum who dedicated her life to raising you and your siblings - making sure you were well-fed, properly educated and always sleeping warm and safe.
Now imagine this wonderful woman becoming homeless.
But it is!
Else>>>d more older Aussie women - our mothers and grandmothers - are part of an alarming and shameful trend that has welfare groups horrified.
Read more: Are you a senior renting in a share house?
They are part of an epidemic of new homeless - older single women living in their cars or couch-surfing because they have nowhere to live.
In today's world - this harsh, new Australia consisting of increasingly unaffordable housing - all it takes to see an older woman left to fend for herself with nowhere to live is a spousal death, or divorcel
After all, many women entering old age haven't necessarily had a long time in the workforce, so they have no, or limited, superannnuation.
And one in five women yet to retire have no superannuation at all. On average, women retire with half as much super as men.
Our mums were too busy raising children and caring for other family members. Now, they find themselves in older age living in poverty.
Women like Kay Dolman from Sydney, who dedicated her life to her family as a stay-at-home mum.
"Ï was ashamed. It was a situation I did not think I would ever be in," she says in this moving interview with SBS's The Feed (watch the video below).
But it's where she found herself after 37 years of marriage, in a deep pit of despair relying on family and friends for a safe place to sleep.
"You can't plan ahead because you don't know where you are going to be from one day til the next and that creates anxiety,"'she said.
Homelessness Australia estimates there are now 280,000 homeless people in Australia, or about one in every 85 people.
This is why we need strong, intelligent policies that create affordable, secure housing.
It's a deplorable situation and one we should act together to fix. Write to your local MP, lobby the , as well as your .
This is not right. This is not the Australia I want to live in.