THE sad, lonely death of a 44-year-old woman on the banks of Bomaderry Creek, over the weekend highlights the cost of homelessness in the Shoalhaven.
Shoalhaven Youth Accommodation manager Kerri Snowden said, “Shoalhaven should hang its head in shame that something like this has taken place.”
The woman was found at a makeshift camp on the northern side of Bomaderry Oval, overlooking Bomaderry Creek, around 500 metres south of the Bomaderry railway Station.
With funding cut to at least 80 organisations in the Going Home Staying Home tender reform, Ms Snowden said incidents like this would only become more common.
Shoalhaven Youth Accommodation and Shoalhaven Women’s Refuge both missed out on funding under the state government’s recent reform.
“This woman’s death is tragic,” Ms Snowden said.
“What a sad, lonely death. They are out there at risk.
“On any night in the Shoalhaven we have 150 people sleeping rough, either outside or couch surfing, just staying with friends.
“The last week would have been very tough, it’s been bitterly cold.”
She said the first her organisation heard of the woman’s plight was in reports of her death.
“If we had known she was over there we would have gone to find her and offer her assistance,” she said.
“Someone must have seen her living there or knew about her.
“Did anyone contact Housing NSW or other services to see if we could provide her with help?
“Agencies can’t identify people and then help them if we are unaware of them.
“Shoalhaven needs to hang is head in shame, this sort of thing shouldn’t be happening.
“Unfortunately there will be more and more people, especially young people, forced to live rough.
“As a society we need to treat these people with respect, we don’t know the circumstances that led to their homelessness
“People need to remember ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.”
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death, who was discovered on Sunday afternoon.
It is believed the 44-year-old woman had 10 children and had local connections.
A post mortem is being conducted at the Glebe Morgue to determine the cause of death and a report is being prepared for the coroner.