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CHP eNews 2014

21 August 2014

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Is McClure’s 4-tiered system of welfare payments the way to go?
The Interim Report into the Review of Welfare Payments, also know as the McClure Report, proposes a simplified welfare system, with just four Centrelink payment categories (working age payment, disability pension, child payment, age pension).
CHP made a submission in response to the report suggesting that the tiered model of payments fails to recognise that current Newstart and Youth Allowance payments are grossly inadequate. Until welfare payments are increased to ‘liveable’ levels, the incentive will remain for people to seek to be re-categorised to higher payment levels, creating further administrative burden on the welfare system.
Our submission suggests a preferable alternative to a tiered-payment system would be  a universal payment – adequate to cover life essentials and supplemented by extra payments for those with further needs.
CHP recommends that welfare payments be indexed to a more realistic community standard, such as the average weekly earnings of ordinary Australians, rather than to CPI, which is a poor measure of the real cost of living.
CHP’s submission makes other recommendations, including retaining income-based rents for public housing tenants and indexing Commonwealth Rent Assistance to the rent-component of CPI.
Given that poverty is a common feature of all experiences of homelessness, changes to welfare payments will have an immediate and lasting impact on our sector, and we keenly await the final McClure report. You can read CHP’s full submission here.
 
100 days til the election – Go!
With exactly 100 days until the Victorian election, we’re making it super-easy to get active and help make homelessness a political priority. We’ve created a useful kit of resources, including letter templates, media releases and tailored fact sheets for each electorate.
Why not contact your local candidates and invite them to visit your service? It’s a great opportunity to tell them about the issues that are impacting you most – funding cuts, re-tendering processes and increased demand for services are the things that our members are telling us are a priority. If you want support for any activities, please contact Lanie (0418 552 377 or lanie@chp.org.au)
Our full state election platform can be read here.

Local press help to bring attention to CHP’s state election platform
Following the excellent kick-off of our state election platform in metro media, there has been good coverage in local papers, boosted by the statistics released by CHP showing homelessness by state electorate.  The following is a selection of articles from local press:

Doorway project boosts independence and health outcomes
An innovative housing project for people with serious mental illness has seen individuals lead more independent and healthy lives, with fewer hospital admissions and decreased reliance on specialised mental health supports.
These are among the findings of an independent evaluation by Nous Group into Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria’s Doorway Housing and Support Project, released in August.
Doorway supports people with mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to choose, access and sustain their own private rental accommodation by building their independent living and tenancy management skills and, where required, subsidising rent. Read more about Doorway
 
Exploring one of our most-asked questions
The loaded issue of begging was again raised this week in the media relation to the negative impact and relative ineffectiveness of criminalisation of begging. Our most recent blog post discusses the issue, and what things to consider when people on the street ask you for money. This is one of the most asked questions of us, as a peak body. The answer is far from definitive, but our blog post discusses the alternatives to giving money, and also the philosophical considerations once you do give money.  

Toolkit to support advocating for clients seeking emergency relief
Emergency Relief Victoria (ER Vic), the peak body for the Victorian emergency relief sector,  brings  emergency relief agencies together to support their work as providers. Last year ER Vic worked with member agencies to develop a toolkit with information about advocacy and available resources. Whilst the toolkit is designed to support those working in assisting clients with emergency relief, is also beneficial to those in casework and case management positions. The toolkit can be found on here or for further information about Emergency Relief Victoria please go to www.ervictoria.org.au
 
Countdown to National Homelessness Conference
Only 3 weeks until this important event in the homelessness calendar! 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.

Reflecting on the recommissioning  of mental health services and AOD services – the Minister wants your thoughts!
The Community Sector Reform Council, under the guidance of Minister Wooldridge, is seeking feedback from interested parties to help refine and inform future recommissioning processes.
CHP and VCOSS will be making a joint submission on behalf of the homelessness sector.
You can contribute to the feedback process either by contributing to CHP’s submission (email Sarah Toohey, Policy & Communications Manager or phone 8415 6204) or making your own submission. Submissions must be made in writing by 29 August 2014 to the Reform Council Secretariat via email: csrc@dhs.vic.gov.au, or mailed to:
Community Sector Reform Council Secretariat
Level 11, 50 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Do you know a GP who provides exceptional health service to vulnerable people? Nominate them for an award!
The Minister for Health, David Davis, has announced a new award for excellence in health general practice to vulnerable populations. The awards recognise services to vulnerable populations, including people who experience homelessness, people with a disability and vulnerable children amongst others. Individuals and practices can self-nominate, or be nominated. Nominations close on 5 September. More info: www.health.vic.gov.au 
 
Living Room opens dental drop-in service
Youth Projects is operating a dental drop-in service on Thursdays 9.30-12.30 at the The Living Room, 7-9 Hosier Lane. The next dates for the service are 21st  August, 4th & 25th September, 25th September, 16th October, 6th & 27th November.
Thursday 16th October, 2014
Further information: 9945 2100

Homeless not voteless
The Victorian State Election is on 29 November 2014. The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) can assist your clients to enrol and vote. Book in for a visit to your agency:
Enrolment Outreach Sessions
August – October 2014
VEC can contribute to the cost of putting on a morning tea or BBQ for this session.
To book your session please email Alex  with a suggested date.
 Other resources available include:

What happens when disadvantaged people are clustered in the one place?
AHURI will host an event that sees visiting researcher Professor George Galster (Wayne State University, US), Professor Hal Pawson (AHURI Research Centre—The University of NSW) and others discussing the challenges presented by spatial concentrations of disadvantage.
Date: Thursday 25 September
More details: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/
 
In case you missed the news!

CHP Updates 
Regional Victoria: we’re coming to you! Book to attend CHP sector consultations
Join us to talk about what policy issues should CHP be focussing on in the coming year, what issues is the most pressing concern for your service?
How can SHS’s get their local politicians to take notice of homelessness issues?
 
Bendigo: 19 September (9.30-11.30am)
Ballarat: 19 September (3-5pm)
Morwell: 23 September (9-11am)
Geelong 25 September (9.30-11.30am)

Parity 
Call for contributions: September edition of Parity: “Homelessness and the law: Access to justice”

People who are homeless have almost twice the need for legal assistance as the rest of the population and over 85 per cent of homeless people have experienced at least one legal problem over a one-year period, compared to 49 per cent of people living in non-disadvantaged housing. The September edition of Parity will examine how homelessness and the law intersect, with a particular focus on legal need, and current responses to legal need.
Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of 15 September.
Contribution details can be found here.

PESP Update
Jacqui and Danny recently made an ‘Understanding Homelessness’ presentation to library staff at the City of Port Philip. One attendee was moved to write an email to all colleagues sharing her experience, and saying “listening to these stories was really confronting and an important experience for me, and got me thinking about the importance of engaging with people with real empathy and respect, and listening to them, on a daily basis.” Feedback like this really shows how powerful PESP engagement can be in changing community attitudes.
Jacqui also participated in a panel discussion for Monash Law Students’ Society ‘Just Leadership’ program.

Grants
Grants for projects helping Victorians better understand the law

Victoria Law Foundation is calling for grant applications for projects requiring more than $5000 (although most commonly awarded between $20,000 – $50,000)
If you need funding to bring a great idea for a legal project to life, then consider applying. Applicants are encouraged to get in touch to access specialist advice in project management, plain language, education and publishing to help you develop your application and improve the overall success of your project.
For more information please visit the website.  You can also read about VLF latest grant projects.
 
Training 
Wodonga Institute of TAFE has released their SHS training calendar for August-December 2014. Wodonga Institute of TAFE are the key provider of training to the Specialist Homelessness Sector offering a range of tailored low cost training programs.

Training sessions coming up in the next month include:

  • Specialist Homelessness Information Platform (SHIP) training (1 day)
  • Introduction to homelessness and social housing (2 days)
  • People skills for working with complex behaviours (2 days)
  • Mental health first aid (2 days)

Download the calendar here.

Challenging behaviours: strategies for de-escalating, understanding, and Recovery
This program provides participants with strategies to deal more effectively with aggression and intense emotional expressions, as well as opportunity to increase understanding of typical factors contributing to hostility, and appropriate interventions. This program is suited to all workers in the PDRS sector, including managers, team leaders, counsellors and administrative staff.
Date: Monday 8 September
Venue: VICSERV, Elsternwick, Victoria.
For more information and to register click here.

Introduction to homelessness and social housing (2 days)
This workshop explores the social housing sector. The training focuses on the causal and structural issues of homelessness, the current issues that impact on the sector and different models of work, the components and structure of the social housing sector (including the range and variety of service provision), the context of social housing provision including historical, social, political, and economic aspects, and the issues that clients face.
Date: Monday and Tuesday, 22 & 23 September 2014
Venue: CAE, Melbourne
Cost: $88
Registrations: Book via EventBrite

Conferences
15th International Mental Health Conference
The conference theme Mental Health: Innovation | Integration | Early Intervention, will focus on Suicide, Dementia, Depression, Personality Disorders and Trauma. Keynote addresses, submitted papers, workshops and case studies will examine how approaches and techniques can be incorporated into daily practise.
Date: 25 & 26 August 2014
Venue: Surfers Paradise, Qld
For more information and to register click here.

 

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© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

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

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