CHP eNews 2014
17 April 2014
Guaranteed Housing Fund proposed for young people leaving State care
A recent article in The Age entitled ‘Turning 18 and leaving home again’ highlighted the issue of young people leaving state care struggling to make a smooth transition to independent living.
Last year, 127 people who sought assistance from homelessness services cited leaving care as the main reason they needed help (AIHW 2014). Research indicates young people who leave care experience homelessness at a much higher rate than other young people. A shortage of affordable housing is a significant factor that stops young people from being able to live independently, particularly when they don’t have the financial and emotional support that most young people have when they leave home.
In our pre-budget submission (page 7), we have called on the Government to provide $16 million over four years for a Guaranteed Housing Fund that would help cover the rent for 400 young people leaving care each year. The Housing Fund would deliver a maximum of $4160 per annum to each young person, either paid as weekly instalments, or as staggered payments.
AHURI has published an evidence review which provides a good summary of key leaving care research.
Sarah Toohey, CHP’s Policy & Communications Manager, was interviewed on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program, alongside a young woman who left state care and until recently was in Anglicare’s Breaking the Cycle program. You can listen to the audio here.
CHP’s response to KPMG’s VHAP System Reform Discussion paper
Last month DHS and KPMG conducted consultations across the state for the ongoing development of the VHAP reforms, which CHP participated in. As part of these consultations KPMG produced the VHAP Reform Discussion Paper: future reform directions.
As well as participating in the consultations, CHP has produced a written response to the issues outlined in the KPMG Discussion Paper. You can read CHP’s response here.
Mercy Foundation report points to emerging group of older homeless women
A Mercy Foundation report released this week highlights the increasing trend of women from conventional backgrounds experiencing homelessness for the first time late in life.
A combination of factors including the rising cost of housing, reduced levels of home ownership and the fact that women often have less financial safety nets than men means older women are more vulnerable to the experience of homelessness.
The report highlights the importance of two types of intervention for people experiencing homelessness for the first time: preventing homelessness and getting women back into housing quickly, strategies that the Council to Homeless Persons has recently been lobbying to be better funded.
With immediate support that focuses on housing, the report suggests these women can often resume normal lives with little contact with the homelessness system.
CHP CEO, Jenny Smith, warns that unless the sector is resourced and structured to respond swiftly, that this group can quickly spiral into homelessness.
”We’re very concerned that without the appropriate responses now, we are allowing a perfectly able group of people to fall into a merry-go-round of homelessness and crisis accommodation.”
This issue has received considerable media coverage, including the following articles in The Age.
‘What would you miss?’ video
A YouTube video produced by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) asks young people on the streets of Melbourne ‘What would you miss if you were homeless?’ The 90-second video has received 1,000 hits in a week.
“Most people who were vox popped for the video had never thought about what it would be like to be homeless. We hope that the ‘What would you miss?’ video will stimulate discussion and action to end to youth homelessness.”said Jenny Smith, CEO of CHP.
VCOSS and Quit Victoria create targeted quit resources for community service workers
Although smoking rates have declined over the last 30 years across all age groups and demographics, low income groups still have higher smoking rates and bear a disproportionate share of the burden of death and disease.
Regular tobacco use amongst this vulnerable group can result in considerable social, emotional and financial stress, and prevent people from securing accommodation and employment.
Quit Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Services have produced a paper on supporting disadvantaged people to quit smoking as well as a guide for social and community services on taking their services partially or totally smokefree. These resources can be accessed on the Quit Vic website here and here.
Dealing with financial abuse – information booklet
WIRE’s new 16-page A5 info booklet is written in plain English to help women in Victoria better understand their experience of financial abuse, and learn ways they can get back control of their money and their lives.
The booklet is available online or you can call 1300 134 130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order hard copies
Grants and awards
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation – Exploration Grants
Exploration grants of up to $50,000 are available to organisations who are working in one of the Foundation’s six key Impact Areas including Youth, Ageing, Homelessness, Community &Preventative Health, the Environment (including Food Security), and Arts &Heritage.
Exploration Grants are provided for the following areas of support:
• Project funding to test, demonstrate, trial or pilot a new concept or idea that will lead to a service improvement or an advance in addressing a major community issue
• Research funding to build understanding of an area or issue, inform program design or practice, inform policy development and philanthropic investment, identify good practice or inform community behaviour
• Funding to support the initial development phase of a social enterprise.
To be eligible to apply for an Exploration Grant, an organisation must be endorsed as a Tax Concession Charity and usually a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).
More information is available from the website or by downloading the flier.
HESTA Unsung Hero Award
As part of this year’s ACOSS conference in June, HESTA will be sponsoring the Community Sector Awards, which celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the community service sector.
Unsung Hero Award – $10,000 Prize
An individual working within the community sector who has made an exceptional contribution to social justice in Australia by enhancing the well-being of individuals or communities experiencing disadvantage.
- Currently works (paid or unpaid) in the community sector or has done so during 2012
- At least 5 years’ experience within the community service sector.
- Demonstrated exceptional contribution and commitment through their work over time.
- Recognised for the effectiveness and impact of their work.
Nominations can be made on the Community Sector Awards website.
May 2014 Parity: ‘Housing Insecurity and Homelessness’ edition
Contributions are sought for the ‘Housing Insecurity and Homelessness edition of Parity.
Contributions close on 16 May. More details available here.
PESP Graduate, Vicky, will be speaking at the Moreland Homelessness forum about her experience of homelessness as a single mum waiting for social housing in the northern suburbs and Allan was a guest speaker at the Moreland Affordable Housing strategy launch.
Youth homelessness specialist response forum
Hope Street Youth and Family Services are conducting this forum to assist practitioners in the homelessness sector (in particular practitioners who are new to the sector) as well as practitioners who are in the non-homelessness sector
Date: 9 May
Venue: Mind Australia, Rosanna
For more information, click here.
Working with the Person who is Suicidal (PreSAP) – An Introductory Workshop
The Centre for the Human Rights of Imprisoned People (CHRIP) a project of Flat Out is running this program for legal and non-legal advocates and community members. The sessions have a focus on increasing our capacity to undertake individual and systemic advocacy that upholds the rights of criminalised and incarcerated people. In particular, they reflect our concern with the nexus between homelessness, drug and alcohol use and criminalisation.
Date: Wednesday 4 June
For more information, please contact Phoebe on (03) 9372 6155 or go to the Flat Out website.
Managing stress in the community services environment
This workshop explores stress and its signs and symptoms, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, strategies for managing stress, reflective practice, and identifying possible sources of professional support.By Wodonga Institute of TAFE
Date: Friday 23 May
Venue: Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne
Bookings: Click here.
VCOSS Summit: Setting the agenda
Finding smarter, better and fairer ways to address Victoria’s social and economic challenges must be on the agenda for the 2014 State Election and beyond.
The VCOSS Summit is bringing together leaders and strategic thinkers from the community sector, government, business, and the media to explore the big issues facing our state and how we can better address disadvantage.
Date: Friday 30 May
Time: 9:00am – 4.30pm
Venue: ZINC at Federation Square, Melbourne
Cost: $165 (members) $330 (non-members)
Tickets and more info available via EventBrite
ACOSS National Conference – Global problems, local solutions: Tackling inequality in Australia and beyond
The ACOSS National Conference connects people in the community sector, along with business and government, to discuss the latest directions, ideas and action to address poverty and inequality in Australia.
The ACOSS conference will feature leaders from across Australia to illuminate developments in social and economic policy and opportunities for community sector advocacy and action.
Date: 11 & 12 June 2014
For registrations and program information, go to the conference website or download the flier.
13th Australian Institute of Family Studies conference – Families in a rapidly changing world
Date: 30 July – 1 August
The AIFS conference will showcase cutting-edge research on topical issues relating to how families are adjusting to a rapidly changing world. It will outline key policy priorities for advancing the wellbeing of Australian families.
Venue: Melbourne Convention Centre
More information at the conference website.
8th National Homelessness Conference: Complexities & Countermeasures
At this biennial conference front-line providers, academics, governments and agencies and those with a lived experience of homelessness will connect to identify the multiple and interwoven causes of homelessness, unpack the elements of successful programs, policies and practices, and seek ways these can be applied to prevent and end homelessness.
Date: 10 – 12 September 2014
Venue: Gold Coast
Further information can be found on the conference website.