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CHP eNews 2017

15 June 2017

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Melbourne #keepyourheart
City of Melbourne Councillors are scheduled to vote on the proposed bylaws that will effectively ban camping on 25 July. CHP has launched a campaign that aims to shape the community conversation around homelessness and the proposed laws in the lead into this vote.

With #keepyourheart we aim to remind the community of Melbourne’s long tradition of compassion for people with no home, and of the deeper value of being an inclusive city.

You can help Melbourne keep its heart by:

Government announces new funding for tenancy support program
Yesterday the Victorian Government announced new funding for a program that prevents evictions from social housing. The program will be a revitalised version of the previously defunded, and highly successful Social Housing Advocacy Support Program (SHASP).

The newly named Tenancy Plus now has additional resources to provide support to community housing tenants, as well as public housing tenants, to assist them to sustain their tenancies, and to prevent people cycling back into homelessness. Read our media release response.

The Government also announced the construction today of new temporary housing and support in Preston for homeless people. These new housing units will provide a welcome increase in the interim options available to people in housing crisis.

Rough Sleeping in Victoria – initial report from Tony Nicholson
Tony Nicholson, CEO of Brotherhood of St Laurence is developing a long-term strategy to tackle rough sleeping in Victoria. The first phase of this has been the development of this situation appraisal, which documents what is currently known about rough sleeping in Victoria. DHHS are requesting feedback on this document to roughsleepingstrategy@dhhs.vic.gov.au by Monday 10 July 2017.
Please comment on whether this aligns with your understanding/ knowledge of rough sleeping in Victoria. Are there any errors or gaps, or insights that are missing? Do you concur with the general principles at the end of the situation appraisal? It is anticipated that the Rough Sleeping Strategy will be completed by the end of October 2017.

Connect Respect – training for CBD workers 
The City of Melbourne and Council to Homeless Persons are partnering to deliver the Connect Respect  training program that helps business understand how to connect with people experiencing homelessness in an inclusive, helpful and respectful way.
Businesses, and people whose work brings them into contact with people experiencing homelessness, are encouraged to participate in the Connect Respect training, which is tailored specifically for their business and staff needs. Connect Respect is delivered by member of the CHP Peer Education Support Team

CHP Consultation: ‘Reforms to Human Services’
The Productivity Commission’s recently released draft report ‘Reforms to Human Services‘ is open for consultation, and CHP intends to make a submission.
The draft report makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Removing dedicated Commonwealth funding for public and social housing
  • Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15% and linking it to (national) rent costs
  • Providing longer term contracts to homelessness services (seven years)
  • Allowing private companies to competitively tender against specialist homelessness services

CHP consultations are for homelessness sector workers, supervisors, policy-makers, management, consumers and other interested parties. They serve the dual purpose of ensuring that our submission reflects the best knowledge of the sector, and that where possible the sector is united in its position on government proposals.
For more information contact Damien, or register here.

Homes for Victorians – Industry Engagement calendar
Earlier this year the Victorian Government released Homes for Victorians outlining the Government’s response to the housing affordability crisis. DHHS has released an Industry Engagement Plan outlining how it will connect with the full range of industry and government agencies to achieve the plan goals. The calendar can be viewed here

Couldn’t make it to the Wheeler Centre? We’ve got you covered! 
Last week the Wheeler Centre hosted a special panel discussion on homelessness featuring Lucy Adams, Homeless Law; Michael Perusco, Unison; Jenny Smith, CHP and Erika, who has a lived experience of homelessness

Questions from the audience covered a range of topics including how laws have worked (or not) abroad to reduce homelessness, how the public should interact with rough sleepers, the use of converted train carriages as crisis accommodation, and what action is needed at State and Federal Government level to end homelessness.
We will be drip-feeding you video shorts of some of the most interesting questions posted at the session over the coming weeks. The first two-minute video tackles the question ‘How do we convince leaders that it is economically rational to be kind?‘ 

Centrelink debt recovery program to be expanded 1 July 2017
The Commonwealth Government has announced that from 1 July 2017 it will expand the Centrelink compliance and debt recovery program, including the continued auto-generation of debt notices. We are deeply concerned about how such debt notices, sometimes inaccurately generated, will affect vulnerable people who are already on the brink of homelessness. We will be following this issue closely, and ask that organisations alert us if they have clients presenting with Centrelink debt notices, including ‘Initial Clarification’ letters which in the next phase will predominantly target disability and age pension recipients. 

Homelessness Week 2017  


HW2017 #endhomelessness  
Homelessness Week 2017 will be held from the 7-13 of August and in 2017 is themed to highlight innovation in ending homelessness, and action to achieve change. The week is an opportunity for us to highlight the work of the sector, recognise barriers to ending homelessness in Victoria and most importantly, to recognise our consumers.  

Homelessness Week is also an important opportunity to engage with local MPs and media and inform them about what is needed to end homelessness where we live and work. CHP is encouraging agencies and complementary services to host an event in the week prior to Homeless Persons Week to leverage a pre-Parliamentary sitting week. You can register your event here on the Homelessness Australia website.

CHP’s top picks

Visit CHP’s what’s on page for more events and information. 

CHP updates

Parity – Call for contributions
You are invited to contribute an article to the July edition of Parity magazine: “Poverty and Homelessness”. Contributions must be submitted by Friday 17 July 2017. FInd the contributions flyer here.  

Grants

Human services scholarship and Ethel Temby research grant
Applications for the Human services scholarship and Ethel Temby research grant program are now open. The program is open to employees in the human services sector and provides a financial contribution towards either undertaking a qualification or completing a research project.

The Human services scholarships provides financial assistance to undertake study in 2018 and/or 2019 in an undergraduate or postgraduate course, or a course that leads to a qualification.  There are 4 types of scholarships available:

  1. Disability scholarships.
  2. Housing scholarships
  3. Child Protection scholarships
  4. Disability Development Support Officer (DDSO) Senior Leadership scholarships

The Ethel Temby research grant provides up to $9,000 to complete a research project during 2018.  The research will investigate new approaches which will support the vision of Absolutely everyone state disability plan 2017-2020, and may be undertaken locally, interstate or overseas.

Applicants are encouraged to apply if they are employed under the HACSU award, are interested in obtaining a qualification in leadership, work in housing or homelessness or child protection.

Applications close on Tuesday 18 July at 5pm.

More information about the program and the online application form can be found here.

Conferences and events

Victorian Homelessness Conference: Talking Solutions
13-14 September – New speakers and workshops announced!

#CHPConf2017

New speakers have been confirmed for the CHP conference including:

  • Professor Guy Johnston, Professor of Urban Housing and Homelessness, RMIT University
  • Paul McDonald, CEO Anglicare Victoria and Chair of the HomeStretch campaign
  • Dr Anita Morris, Family Violence Principal Practitioner, DHHS
The debate: Transitional housing continues to have an important role will include:
  • Heather Holst, Deputy CEO, Launch Housing for the affirmative, and
  • Michael Perusco, CEO Unison and Professor Guy Johnson, RMIT for the negative

New workshops have been included in the program to explore:

  • Innovations to manage impossible demand
  • GLBTIQ homelessness
  • Top tips to resolve tenancy issues
  • New research into family breakdown causing youth homelessness

Registrations are now open  
Early bird registration closes 20 July.  
Dates: 13 & 14 September

NDIS Mental health conference 2017 – call for content
A reminder of the call for content for CMHA’s National NDIS Mental Health Conference 2017.

The conference theme is ‘towards a good life’, and submissions (which can be made here) that focus on the potential of the NDIS to improve the lives of those with psychosocial disability are encouraged. All proposals will be considered, especially sessions that are interactive and feature the voices of those with lived experience. Submissions close on 23 June.

Full criteria is included in the content guidelines.

2017 Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards

Nominations are now open for the Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards. This is a great opportunity to nominate and recognise outstanding specialist homelessness services, consumers or other community members who work to end homelessness in Victoria. 

The winners will be announced at the Victorian Homelessness Conference in September. 

Check out the award categories and make your nomination here.

AHURI National Housing Conference
AHURI will convene the National Housing Conference 2017 – Building for better lives, in Sydney, in partnership with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services from 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2017 at the brand new International Convention Centre. With Sydney as the destination, and NSW leading the way in social housing policy reform, NHC 2017 is expected to be our biggest conference ever, with more than 1,000 delegates from across the country expected to join us in Australia’s largest city.

Register: via EventBrite

In the news – in case you missed it!

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© 2017 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
P: (03) 8415 6200   E: daniel@chp.org.au T: @CHPVic

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