CHP eNews 20 April Youth Homelessness Matters Day; a wrap up of what went down


CHP eNews 2018
20 April 2018

Dear *|FNAME|*,

A wrap-up on what went down

Arguably this year’s Youth Homelessness Matters Day was the most successful yet, with thousands of events and online activities nation-wide, and social media abuzz with #YHMD2018 conversations. The issues and coverage that got major attention included:

Young couch surfers worse off than those sleeping rough: research
Preliminary research findings suggest that couch surfing can be just as damaging and traumatising as rough sleeping for young people. The research, conducted by Brisbane Youth Service and Griffith Criminology Institute, with preliminary findings published in Council to Homeless Person’s Parity magazine, found that young couch surfers had higher rates of both suicide risk and rates of self-harming behavior. Additionally, couch surfers were twice as likely to describe their mental health as poor than the young people sleeping rough.


Envisioning couch surfing as an extended sleep-over with a friend has contributed to the perception that it is a ‘safer’ form of homelessness, or even not a form of youth homelessness at all. This research blows that misconception out of the water. It reinforces to the sector that home is much more than a bed and we need to be consistently working towards stable and safe accommodation options for young people.

Couch surfing should be viewed with the same seriousness as other forms of homelessness, and needs specific policy responses, with a particular focus on affordable accommodation for young people on low incomes who can’t live at home.

More info:
Read the original research from Parity magazine
Blog: It’s not just an extended sleepover with friends: the reality of couchsurfing
Read The Guardian article Couchsurfers at greater risk of suicide and self-harm than those on street, study suggests

#BeAModel and Homie
Comedian Tommy Little has turned to modelling for Youth Homelessness Matters Day. This week, the well known comedian posted a series of photos of himself on Instagram wearing the Homie fashion label, whom he has partnered with to raise the profile of young people without homes.

Little and CHP CEO Jenny Smith each spoke to Channel 10’s The Project about the dramatic rise in youth homelessness and the lack of crisis accommodation available to them. You can watch the video here:


Uni and TAFE students counted among Australia’s hidden homeless
Fairfax recently examined the housing crisis that is driving 11,000 University and TAFE students into homelessness.
Although these figures are shocking, they should be of no surprise. As CHP CEO Jenny Smith told SBS’s The Feed, government rent assistance isn’t keeping up with rising rates. Youth Allowance payments plus Commonwealth Rent Assistance leave a young person with just $267/week to pay for housing, transport, food, bills. Consider the fact that a room in a share house is $150-$250/week, and it’s easy to see why students fall into homelessness.
Read our media release on student homelessness.

Latest stats on Youth Homelessness
On Census night 2016, 27,680 Australians aged 12-24 were counted as homeless. In most instances, young people do not have a home because they are escaping family conflict and violence. They struggle to find a safe, permanent place to live because of the housing affordability crisis in Australia.

Download and share our Youth Homelessness Factsheet


Everybody’s Home
A big thank you

Over the past weeks, many of you have thrown your wholehearted support behind the Everybody’s Home campaign. Your likes, shares, tweets, signatures and all around enthusiasm are deeply appreciated by us.
#EverybodysHome is a national campaign with some very big demands for the upcoming election. To have so many of you get behind it helps our politicians to see just how important homelessness and housing affordability is to everyday Australians. Thank you!

Those who haven’t yet can join the campaign by signing up on the Everybody’s Home website.

You can also further support the campaign by:


For more info, go to


Calls to protect domestic violence victims living in rental homes

Hundreds of emails and phone calls flooded MPs offices on 4 April, after the #MakeRentingFair campaign rallied a joint day of action to highlight the urgent action needed to change the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) to better protect women and children in rental homes who are experiencing family violence. There have not been any further updates from the Victorian Government on this area of rental reform. Parliament resumes in May, so we’ll be watching with interest. You can join the campaign and send an email to your local representative here.
Read more: The Age: Renters escaping family violence still face penalties


Online now: April Edition of Parity


On Youth Homelessness Matters Day we joined with Melbourne City Mission and Hope Street at Frontyard Youth Services to launch the April edition of Parity ‘Young people, Trauma and Homelessness’.

At the heart of the event was a panel of young consumers who shared their insights around what needs to be improved in the system, including:
– better promotion of what homelessness supports are available by targeting schools, and community groups
– building a rapport with a young person before talking about their trauma
– being client-centred in case management

To read the edition online, simply log in to the CHP Members Portal and check out the Parity archive

Not a subscriber? Get a taste of what’s in Parity

Towards Dignity and Restoration: A Lived Experience Perspective of Trauma

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”

This article by Morgan Lee Cataldo, lived experience service development worker at Launch Housing, asks how services – and communities – can better respond to and understand trauma, .

Unaccompanied Teens, Trauma and Homelessness; Who Cares

To what extent do our responses offer children love? To what extent do our responses dehumanise children? To what extent do our responses seek to dispense with some children because they are too hard?
This piece by Catherine Robinson, Social Action and Research Centre, Anglicare Tasmania, arose from the author’s research into unaccompanied homeless children who experience lifetimes cumulative trauma. It explores how such children can be re-traumatised by systemic responses to them and, raises the uncomfortable ethical question of who has responsibility for the care of unaccompanied homeless children.

Get full access to Parity – become a subscriber

For complete access to every new addition of Parity, and to a 13-year back-catalogue, simply register as a New User on the CHP Member Portal and choose your subscription type. Note: If you work for a CHP member organisation you can access Parity free online once you activate your staff login to the Portal. Your CEO will send a link that enables you to login.


In the news – in case you missed it!

CHP Blog It’s not just an extended sleepover with friends – the realities of couchsurfing

SBS: The Feed Homeless Uni Students: Struggling While Studying

ABC Online Couch surfing as harmful as sleeping rough, research shows

Mumbrella Tommy Little shines light on youth homeless and calls bluff on social media in #beamodel campaign

ABC Online Domestic violence victims put at risk by rental ‘blacklisting’ laws, advocates say

CHP Updates


Are you ready for Election 2018?

Ever wanted to know how to engage your local MP, but not sure of the protocol?

Ever wanted to pitch a story to your local paper, but don’t know how?

Ever wanted to run a social media campaign but unsure where to start?

Not all services have the experience or resourcing to run local campaign activities. Even those that do can benefit from piggybacking off large, national campaigns with local activities.

In the lead up to this year’s Victorian election, CHP is running 5 consultations and training session to provide you with all of the skills that you will need to ensure that our politicians respond to homelessness in the upcoming election.
Sessions include:

These skills will also be useful for supporters of the Everybody’s Home campaign.

So far we’ve had two fantastic sessions in Ringwood and Shepparton and received some very valuable advice from MPs Vicky Ward and Luke O’Sullivan.

Sign up here for events in:
Melbourne CBD – 23 April
Ovens Murray – 24 April
Gippsland – 26 April

Confirmed MP attendees

Melbourne CBD – Monday 23 April
Anthony Carbines MP, Member for Ivanhoe
Anthony is a Parliamentary Secretary in the current Victorian Government and was chief of staff and advisor to Bronwyn Pike, former Minister for Housing.

Morwell – Thursday 26 April
Harriet Shing MP, Member for Eastern Victoria
Harriet is a Parliamentary Secretary in the current Victorian Government. She is a former official with the Australian Services Union, and was an advisor to then Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews.

May Parity: Call for contributions

The May 2018 “Revisiting Rough Sleeping”

Rough sleeping has become an increasingly visible form of homelessness in Australia in recent years, especially in major cities, resulting in a heightened public awareness of the issue, and in a range of media and policy responses to it.

Alongside the growth in the prevalence of rough sleeping, there has been an increasing convergence of international evidence and practice around effective responses to chronic homelessness. This evidence base has had clear implications for the response to rough sleeping. This body of evidence, called Housing First, focusses on the primacy of housing in response efforts, alongside flexible wrap-around support provided within a rights framework.

This edition of Parity will be devoted to examining the role and impact of the experience of trauma: as a cause of youth homelessness; its impact in and on the experience of youth homelessness and how our understandings of the role of trauma can assist and inform the work of those helping young people out of homelessness.
Contributions close Friday May 11 2018. Download the flyer here
Subscribe to Parity here.

New speakers announced! Register now!
National Homelessness Conference 2018

AHURI and Homelessness Australia are partnering to convene a National Homelessness Conference 2018 in Melbourne. Learn more on the website
Date: 6 and 7 August 2018
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Cost: Early Bird rates $418 for one day; $770 for two days
Register now for early bird prices

Finland has effectively ended homelessness. To find out how, come and hear newly announced keynote speaker for the conference, Juha Kaakinen, Chief Executive Officer of Y-Foundation. Y-Foundation is the biggest Finnish NGO acquiring flats from the private market for homeless people and providing social housing.


Held ‘under the spire’ at the iconic Arts Centre Melbourne, the VCOSS Summit on 13 June will bring together leaders, strategic thinkers and workers in the community sector, government, academia and business to explore a vision for a new Victoria.

Speakers include the Victorian Premier, Leader of the Opposition; Leader of the Victorian Greens and many more.

Early bird ending this Friday.

Register now.
When: 13 June

Nominations for the 2018 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards are open
The annual Victorian Senior of the Year Awards are run by the Victorian Government. They acknowledge older Victorians who volunteer their time to assist, support and encourage others in their communities..

The award categories are:
· Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year
· Healthy Active Living Award
· Veterans Community Award
· Promotion of Multiculturalism Award
· COTA Victoria Senior Achiever Awards
· Age-Friendly Victoria Award – for organisations or businesses.
The nomination period for the Awards is now open and closes on July 20, 2018.
Nomination forms can be downloaded here

For further information about the nomination process please contact Melanie Edge on 9096 1020 or

Become a CHP Member
Becoming a CHP member is the most effective way to support Council to Homeless Persons’ work to end homelessness.

$300,000 Grants available for homelessness or domestic abuse

Community Sector Banking has launched the theme for its 2018 Social Investment Grants Program, which is once again focused on building resilience and capability in people experiencing homelessness or domestic abuse. The total grant pool available for this year is $300,000.

Applications open on 1 May 2018.
Download the media release, factsheet and a social media tile to help you spread the message.


Improving Access to the NDIS training

CHP will deliver “Improving Access to the NDIS training” across Victoria over the coming months, providing frontline homelessness practitioners with the skills and knowledge to knowledge to improve the access of their clients to the NDIS.
Content for the sessions will be drawn from the “Homelessness and the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Challenges and solutions” report available on the Council to Homeless Person’s website.
Two sessions have been announced:
Central Highlands on the 9 May and Eastern Melbourne on the 14 May.
More dates to be announced shortly.
Registration for Central Highlands
Registration for Melbourne East

SHS Training Calendar
Download the Specialist Homelessness Sector training calendar February-June here.

Do Food Safely – online food safety resource
DHHS has recently updated its online learning resource DoFoodSafely.The free, non-accredited online learning resource enables people to understand how to safely work with food.
The course is not accredited as the department is not a registered training organisation. However, if the user successfully completes the assessment they will receive a certificate of completion. This can be useful for job seekers wishing to work in hospitality.
Additionally, volunteers and staff may find the program helpful as a learning or teaching resource.

Responding to Sexual Assault: 1-day workshop
Up to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault at some time in their lives. Given these statistics, it is likely that anyone working in health or human services will at some time work with people affected by sexual assault.
Date: 25 July 2018
9.30 – 4.30
RSVP via the registration form or email Email for more info.

FREE Ice Training
360Edge is delivering FREE Ice Training to frontline workers across Victoria in health, welfare, education and transport sectors, funded by the Victorian Government as part of the Ice Action Plan. These practical interactive workshops build the knowledge and skills of frontline workers to respond safely and effectively to people affected by ice.
Date: 11 May
Time: 1 – 4pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN 131 Myers Street Geelong
More info here.

Foundation of Trauma-Informed Care and Practice (Level 1)
Builds awareness around the possibility of trauma affecting the people you support and work with, and provides the knowledge and skills to minimise re-traumatisation and enhance possibilities for recovery.
Date: 18 May
Early Bird ends 23rd March.

Introduction to Working Therapeutically with Complex Trauma Clients (Level 1)
Workshops the three-phases of working clinically with complex trauma clients, and fosters insights, tools and strategies for safe therapeutic alliances, informed by best practice principles.
Fri,15 Jun 2018, Melbourne – Early Bird ends 20 Apr 2018.

SmartSafe: Digital Safety, Family Violence and Risk Assessment
Do you understand the latest smartphones, social media channels, GPS tracking and communications technology?
If you work in family violence, you need to understand how technology is used in family violence, and what you can do in your role to support the 98% of victim/survivors who are experiencing tech-facilitated abuse. Proficiency in technology is not required, only a passion for keeping women and children safe.
Frankston: 8 May
Melbourne CBD: 24 May
Dandenong: 14 June
More info
Case Notes, Family Violence and the Law
This program explains the importance of case notes in day-to-day family violence practice and legal processes. The course includes models for taking case notes, writing style, and content, legal issues, privacy and confidentiality, responding to subpoena, being a witness and writing reports for court.
Darebin: 9 May
Traralgon: 23 May
Ringwood: 5 June
Dandenong: 28 June
More info

Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF)
The Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) helps professionals identify and respond to family violence risk factors. It was developed in consultation with Victorian family violence service providers, police and courts and based upon international research. It is the basis of the family violence service system in Victoria and provides a common language and shared understanding for all agencies to talk about risk assessment and the issues underpinning family violence.

CRAF Risk Assessment (Practice Guide 2)
This course assists professionals who work with victims of family violence and play a role in initial risk assessment, but for whom responses to family violence are not their only core business.
Learn more

CRAF Specialist Training (Practice Guide 3)
This course is aimed at family violence professionals who work with women and children who are victims of family violence.
Learn more

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Collingwood, Victoria 3066
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