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Fiji Time: 1:36 AM on Friday 25 April

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NGO concerned with people living on streets

Shayal Devi
Friday, January 24, 2014

A LARGE percentage of people living on the streets have suffered trauma at some point in their lives.

This, according to NGO Empower Pacific's clinical adviser, Sarah Young.

"The trauma can be a result of childhood abuse, domestic violence or family breakdown. Additionally, many would have had personal battles with drug and alcohol addiction or unstable mental health," Ms Young said.

She said counselling could be an effective way to help people on the streets deal with the problems they faced.

"Counselling is used to address psychosocial issues like childhood trauma, mental health, substance abuse or victim issues."

Ms Young said at times, intervention from authorities were ineffective as individuals did not want to bring about any change in their lives.

She noted the increase in the number of people on the streets of Lautoka and said the organisation provided services to people who experienced extreme poverty.

Ms Young said to curb this problem, there needed to be an increase in community housing available to those at risk of homelessness.