CHP eNews 19 December 2013: Demand for homelessness services soars in Victoria




CHP eNews 2013

19 December

Dear *|FNAME|*,

A Christmas message from CHP

From all of us at the Council to Homeless Persons, we wish you a safe and peaceful festive season. We look forward to working with, and on behalf of, all of you who share our vision of a future where homelessness no longer exists. 

Demand for homelessness services soars in Victoria

The number of Victorians seeking support from homelessness services has risen dramatically, from 86,000 in 2011-12 to 92,000 in 2012-13, according to data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on 17 December.

Although part of the rise has been attributed to new homelessness programs funded under the Victorian Homelessness Action Plan (VHAP), the stark jump in demand underlines the critical need for further funding from both State and National Governments.

42 per cent of people presenting at homelessness agencies pointed to financial difficulty as one of the reasons they sought assistance and 15 per cent citing housing affordability stress. The full report can be accessed here.

Read the CHP media release here

Senate committee to investigate affordable housing and homelessness

On 12 December the Senate referred an inquiry into affordable housing to the Senate Economics References Committee. The inquiry will cover a range of issues, including the operation and effectiveness of rent and housing assistance programs, the impacts of public and social housing policies on housing affordability, the future of the National Rental Affordability Scheme, and the impact of government policies and programs on homelessness.

Submissions are sought, with a deadline of  25 March 2014, and the reporting date will be 26 June 2014. Details are available on the website.

Structural problems and overcrowding key factors in social housing tenants satisfaction, says AIHW

The AIHW has published a detailed report on its 2012 National Social Housing Survey, which  reports on tenant satisfaction in public housing, state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH), and community housing programs. Although the report shows that the majority of social housing  tenants were satisfied with their housing provider, the level of satisfaction varied across social housing program type with the highest satisfaction nationally for community housing tenants (74%) followed by public housing (65%) and SOMIH (59%).

Two key factors affecting satisfaction were the extent of structural problems with the home and whether or not the household was overcrowded. Read the AIHW media release, or download the full report here.

The cost of homelessness and the net cost of homelessness programs: a national study

New research from AHURI has found that the cost of providing supported accommodation programs is offset by savings made in the reduction of use of  non-homelessness services (e.g. health, justice and welfare services). The reduction in average non-homelessness costs in the first year after receiving Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) support was $3685 per client. This demonstrates that not only do SHS clients experience improved outcomes at the individual level, but that governments benefit from a reduced burden on its resources. The full  AHURI report is here.

COAG dissolves Council on Homeless and Housing

At a meeting on 16 December, the Council of Australian Government voted to dissolve the Select Council on Housing and Homelessness. The Council on Housing and Homelessness has been the place where Ministers progressed policy work around the national housing agenda. The current 22 COAG councils will now be replaced with eight.. It is not yet clear where homelessness and housing fits amongst the new streamlined suite of eight councils:

• Federal Financial Relations;

• Disability Reform;

• Transport and Infrastructure;

• Energy;

• Industry and skills;

• Law, Crime and Community Safety;

• Education; and

• Health.

ACNC to be replaced with Centre for Excellence

Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has announced that the Centre for Excellence that will replace the outgoing Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. According to a spokesperson for Minister Andrews, the Centre for Excellence would act as an advocate for the sector, be a leader in innovative and provide education, training and development opportunities to the sector. This item was sourced from Probono News.

Homelessness Australia calls out for media volunteers

Homelessness Australia is planning a campaign that will highlight  the essential services at risk of closure with the expiration of the NPAH

They have put out the call to NPAH funded organisations who are happy to be contacted by the media. If you fall into this category, please contact

Catherine Adcock, or

P: (02) 6247 7744.

Homelessness Australia will not be publishing the names and contact numbers of our contacts.

City of Melbourne Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan – online survey

As part of the development of its draft Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan 2014-17, the City of Melbourne is seeking your involvement through an online survey.  A link to the survey is available here. The survey closes on Wednesday 22 January. A Discussion Paper to guide your input is available by emailing Questions about the development of the Strategy should be directed to Nanette Mitchell at City of Melbourne on 9658 9920.

For those who missed the news!

The Age: Doubts over planning strategy after key advisers quit

The Age : More couchsurf as homelessness on the rise

The Conversation : China plans 36 million affordable homes : Lessons for Australia

Macro Business:  Can the Senate Address housing affordability?

In the Twittersphere

‏@shelterscotland 13 Dec

Friday fact: A homeless child is up to four times more likely to suffer mental health problems. #fridayfact PICTURE 

‏@_HomeGround 12 Dec

Looking forward to making a submission to the Senate inquiry into #affordablehousing

‏@abcnewsNT 16 Dec

Darwin rents cost more than mortgage payments. Article.

‏@CathSocServVic  17 Dec

22,000 Vic ppl will be homeless this Xmas reports @aihw Media release  


CHP Updates

CHP Office Bearers

At its meeting on 16 December, the CHP Board elected the following Office Bearers:

Chair: Jane Barnes

Deputy Chair: Cathy Humphrey

Treasurer: Michael Deschepper

CHP Communications Survey  

The CHP Communications Survey is still open, giving you the chance to comment on the range of CHP communications activities including website, electronic and hard copy publications. The survey takes 10 minutes to complete, and all responses are confidential.


 February: Innovation in Mental Health and Homelessness edition

The edition will look at four central areas in Mental Health and homelessness

evidence and innovation, best practice, lived experience and policy directions. Please look at the Calls for contributions for further information. Submissions are now open.

March 2014 edition: Foyers and Families: Housing Approaches to Supporting Young People

Foyers and ‘foyer-like’ programs have become an important part  tackling youth homelessness in Australia. This edition will take a close look at their use and impact both here and abroad.

Please look at the Calls for contributions  for further information. Submissions are now open.

Peer Education Support Program (PESP) Update

A recent presentation by Spike to the Bayside Medicare Local’s Health and Homelessness Forum had quite an impact, with the program coordinator writing to Spike saying, “Your reflections really grounded our conversation and provided a terrific starting point for the forum.  Throughout the day people came back to the very important points you made at the beginning of our session.

Ben has also been spreading the word about his role in PESP, delivering a presentation about his role in PESP to the Southern network forum.

On 10 December Peter and Allan participated in a consultation for the City of Melbourne’s Homelessness Strategy and a few days later Allan participated in a consultation with Homeground’s Justice program to inform the development of a new consumer feedback form

Today Spike and David are participating in a discussion with Central City Health Service about the ongoing development and progress of the Peer Support project at Central City.

Learn more about PESP here.

Christmas meal services

A useful list of Christmas meal services has been is available on the CHP website, which are also listed below:

Missionaries of Charity Fitzroy

Time: Mass at 11am, Lunch to follow

Location: 101 Gore St, Fitzroy

No bookings required

St Peter’s Eastern Hill

Time: Breakfast 7.30am – 9am daily throughout Christmas and New Year period, including Public Holidays. Lunchtime BBQ on Christmas Day

Location: 15 Gisborne St East Melbourne

No bookings required.

St Ignatius Church

Time: 12 noon

Location: 326 Church St Richmond

Contact: 8420 6789

Oz Community Centre

Time: 11am – 2pm

Location: 268 Abbotsford St North Melbourne

No bookings required

St Silas and St Anselm Anglican Church

Time: 12 noon

Location: Bridport St Albert Park

Bookings required: 0403 406 340 (Fr Ray McInnes)

Sacred Heart Mission

Time: 11.15 – 1.30pm

Location: 87 Grey St St Kilda

No bookings required

Not open for breakfast on 25/12/12

Camberwell Salvo’s

Time: 11am

Location: 7 Bowen St Camberwell

Bookings essential by 18 December

Ph: 9889 2468

Kew Uniting Church

Time: 11.30 – 2pm

Location: 23 Highbury Grove Kew

Bookings: Call or text Natalie 0409 019 269


Time: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Malvern Town Hall, cnr Glenferrie Road & High Street

For more information please contact us on 9692 9500.

Hampton Park Uniting Church

Time: Doors open 11.30am, lunch at 12.30pm

Location: 1 Coral Drive Hampton Park

Bookings Essential: 0408 057 211 / 9799 7994

Croydon – The Dining Room

Time: 5.30pm – 7pm, Christmas Eve

Location: Anglican Church of St John the Divine,  Cnr Wicklow and Toorak Ave,  Croydon

Contact: David 0430 431 613, No bookings required.

Full Gospel Assembly Mornington Peninsula Church

Time: 12pm – 3:30 PM

Location: Bentons Square Community Centre, 145 Bentons Road, Mornington

Bookings Essential: Angeline 0409238840

Bayside Church Cheltenham Community

Time: 12:45 PM for 1pm start

Location: Bayside Church, 99-101 Argus Street, Cheltenham

Bookings Essential: 9585 2455

Foothills Community Care Ferntree Gully

Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Location: St John the Baptist Parish Hall, 19 Forest Rd, Ferntree Gully

RSVP: by Friday 21 December

Transport can be arranged in the local area to Ferntree Gully

Bookings Essential: 8711 8677

Diamond Valley Uniting Church

Time: 12pm onwards

Location: Cnr Main Hurstbridge Rd and Wensley St Diamond Valley

Assistance with transport is available.

Bookings Essential: 9718 2035

Darebin Intercultural Centre

Time: 11am

Location: Preston City Hall 284 Gower St Preston

Bookings Essential: 8470 8440

Activities and Entertainment for children.

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© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, Collingwood, Victoria 3066

P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic