CHP eNews 21 September International expert calls for social housing as a first priority to address homelessness



CHP eNews 2017

21 September 2017

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International expert calls for social housing as a first priority to address homelessness

Professor Eoin O’Sullivan made headlines during his trip to Australia for the Victorian Homelessness Conference last week, where he highlighted that delivering access to social housing is the most important way to address homelessness.

The editor of the European Journal of Homelessness appeared on ABC News Breakfast where he discussed Finland’s success in dramatically reducing homelessness by investing in housing.

While delivering the keynote address to the Victorian Homelessness Conference, Professor O’Sullivan also panned Melbourne’s proposed rough-sleeping bylaws as ‘ineffective’ and ‘inhumane’ saying,

“Using the criminal justice system to deal with a social issue is a trend we’re seeing in parts of Europe, and from experience, we know that it’s failed to reduce homelessness.”

His message was enthusiastically received by conference attendees who also heard an opening address from the Victorian Minister for Housing, Martin Foley. The Minister reiterated the importance of housing in efforts to end homelessness and said that he would join with homelessness services to ask the Federal Government to commit to a long-term plan for homelessness.

Extending care to reduce youth homelessness
At a conference plenary session on young care leavers, Professor O’Sullivan also spoke about Ireland’s success in reducing youth homelessness, achieved by providing young people leaving state care with aftercare, including housing.

Aisha Rizanovic, a young Australian with an experience of out-of-home care told the session of her experience transitioning from care. Ms. Rizanovic described living in care as traumatic and said that the extra years of home care would help children avoid falling into homelessness as they transition to independence.

Anglicare’s CEO and Chair of the Home Stretch campaign, Paul McDonald, called on the Government to extend the entitlement to support provided to young people in care from 18-21. Sign the petition for the Home Stretch campaign here

Missed the conference?
Download speakers session slides from our website and check out the highlights from the Victorian Homelessness Conference 2017 on Twitter.

Update: City of Melbourne Bylaws
The upcoming vote on the proposed homelessness bylaws has been pushed back once more, with the submissions committee, which will deliver a report to Council prior to the Councillor’s voting on the bylaws, adjourning its meeting on 20 September to 4 October. This means we now anticipate the Council to vote on the laws at the Council meeting on Tuesday 31 October.

CHP are very concerned that these laws will further marginalise homeless people, exacerbating the mental health pressures people experience when homeless. This will result in more deaths connected to mental ill health, as well as exposing rough sleepers to a hightened risk of violence. It is vital during this time that the sector continue to be vocal and remind the Council of their obligations to human rights and, to the safety and dignity of all people within their jurisdiction.
Use the hashtag #keepyourheart to show your support for real solutions to homelessness.

GALFA launch latest report
The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia (GALFA) has launched their latest report on LGBTIQ homelessness. The report provides important new evidence about the specificities of pathways into homelessness experienced by LGBTIQ Australians. Some of the key findings are:

  • People who identified as LGB are at least twice as likely as those who identify as heterosexual to have ever experienced homelessness.
  • Discrimination is a key driver of homelessness and of recurring episodes of homelessness amongst LGB people.

The report makes numerous recommendations including that Australian homelessness and housing policies should include LGBTQ people as vulnerable sub-groups requiring specific attention and, that data collection that includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity should be mandatory and linked with service funding agreements.

The full report can be found here

Making sure all Australians have their say in the Marriage Equality Survey
The ABS is working to ensure all eligible Australians can participate in the postal survey, and recognise that people who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness may face barriers.

CHP has agreed to provide Specialist Homelessness Services with the attached information from the ABS, and have created a poster you can display at your service. As outlined by the ABS:

People who are experiencing homelessness can participate in the survey by one of the following described below:

  • Picking up forms

The ABS will advertise locations in every capital city, and some regional and remote locations, where eligible persons who cannot receive their materials by post can collect and/or return survey materials from or to an ABS officer. Locations, dates and times for where forms can be picked up will be advertised on the ABS website.

  • Completing the survey by mail

Survey forms will be received by mail between 13 and 25 September 2017. The package containing the survey form will include a reply paid envelope and instructions on how to complete the form.
If a person cannot complete their survey form independently, they can authorise another person they trust to assist them with their survey, or to complete the survey form on their behalf. To nominate a new address to send the survey to, please visit the ABS website (

  • Paperless response

In limited circumstances, a person can respond to the survey using a paperless method. This method will be made available to Australians experiencing homelessness.The ABS is also able to replace lost or stolen forms. For additional information, please visit or call 1800 572 113.

Anti-Poverty Week 2017 – Have you met your MP?

Anti-Poverty Week 2017 (October 15-21) is fast approaching. This is a great opportunity for the homelessness sector continue our engagement with our Victorian Members of Parliament.
Whether you’re holding an event to highlight the issue of poverty in Australia, or just inviting your MP to visit your service, we think that the talking points below will help lead to better responses from our political leaders.
1. This is what homelessness looks like in your electorate.
Let them know who comes through your doors. Maybe you support a lot of young people who can’t live at home, women and children escaping violence, or socially isolated men on low incomes. The MP is also likely to be interested in forms of homelessness and the difficulties people face while experiencing it – i.e. woman and children living in cars without access to cooking facilities, young people couch surfing and how these relationships break down, or men living in rooming houses crammed in with people who have complex needs.
2. This is what we do to support people.
Talk about:
  • the Front Door service, and how many people they assist to get housing (and the types of housing people get access to)
  • the dedicated responses different cohorts get (ie. the youth refuge, the adult refuge),
  • the other services provided by homelessness and other services (case management, food relief and financial assistance, health, mental health and addiction support).
Highlight a few really great success stories.
3. This is what we can’t do.
What are the local deficiencies? Maybe you can’t get people into affordable housing that they can sustain. Maybe there is no response to those with highly complex mental health needs. Maybe there is no support to young people aged 22-25? Whatever the major frustration points are locally, let them know.

World Homelessness Day #WHD2017
World Homeless Day is coming up on 10 October. We’re using this opportunity to continue calling for 100,000 new public and community housing properties across Australia, and hope you’ll join in! The resources below will help you spread the message through your social media channels. We are nearly at 2,000 signatures and we’re aiming for 10,000 by Christmas. We know that homes are critical to fix homelessness – what we need now is enough of a show of support to create the political will to build them!

Speaking with one voice we can make sure that this World Homeless Day, Treasurer Scott Morrison hears our call – we need 100,000 homes to end homelessness.


Key messages:

  • We’re supporting Christine’s call for #100KHomes
  • Australia needs more public and community housing to end homelessness
  • Ask Scott Morrison to end the housing crisis

Petitioner Christine Thirkell images
Image 1
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100KHomes gif (click to tweet)

CHP Updates

Today: Youth Action Group Compassion Booth

Melbourne City Mission’s Youth Action Group are passionate about raising the profile of young people in Melbourne. This Thursday 21 September they are encouraging people to discuss their experiences of inequality and compassion – it’s International Day of Peace and Non-Violence, This year is themed: ‘Respect, Safety and Dignity for All’
When: Thursday 21 September 11am
Where: Flagstaff Gardens, 9/311 William St, West Melbourne, VIC 3000

World Homelessness Day Summit
Service providers interested in housing and homelessness are invited to hear from speakers addressing housing issues relevant to our local community.

Experts from the housing sector will share their insight into a range of programs and profile innovative practices and initiatives. This event is free but spaces are limited so register now!
Register: here

ACOSS National Conference
The 2017 ACOSS National Conference, in partnership with VCOSS, is the event where community leaders, policy and decision makers, practitioners, academics and people with lived experience come together to collectively tackle the issues driving poverty and inequality in Australia. Leading thinkers and decision makers from the community, public, and private sectors will collaborate to identify challenges and workshop responses to move us towards a brighter and more equitable 2030.
When: 24-25 October
Register here

Youth Affairs Council Victoria Conference
YACVic’s 2017 conference, Front + Centre, will explore themes around the changing nature of youth work, the complexities of our practice and how we tell the compelling story of youth work and its positive impacts. Find program details here. Front + Centre will be held at the Pullman on the Park, Melbourne.
When: 18 – 20 October
Register: here

A gathering about homelessness
A gathering to discuss homelessness and, community solutions to homelessness will be held at Brunswick Town Hall, as part of Anti-poverty week 2017.

The event, A Home in Moreland? has been organized by Moreland City Council and the Moreland Homelessness Working group. The evening will involve in discussion; council staff, local service providers, people with a lived experience of homelessness and community members. Interested residents, business owners, and community leaders are warmly invited to come, connect and discuss community action to fight homelessness.
When: 18 October
Register: here

NDIS: Helping people with psychosocial disabilities navigate the scheme
The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) have launched a new website designed to help people living with a psychosocial disability to better understand and access the NDIS.

The website has been co-designed by people with experience of living with psychosocial disabilities and with accessing the NDIS. It includes information and instructions on what support is available to people with mental health conditions, NDIS eligibility, and making applications. You can find the website here:

Department of Health and Human Services Update
The DHHS Human Services and Health Partnership Implementation Committee meeting’s September report is now available. The report contains a summary of the key projects currently being undertaken by the Department of Health and Human Services.

It includes information on recent initiatives on housing and homelessness such as the Towards Home program and Social Impact Bonds pilot.
Read the report here

Be in the know on social
Are you a CHP member, or just want to link-in with like-minded tweeters? Follow our curated CHP members and networks Twitter list here to be up to date on what the homeless and housing sector is talking about.


SHS Advanced Supervision Training
This workshop builds on the ‘Introduction to supervision’ workshop where participants can further develop their supervisory skills.

Participants explore a range of topics including theoretical frameworks, approaches to supervision, change management, overcoming resistance, leadership, critical thinking and reflective practice, emotional intelligence, and team building.
When: Wed, Sep 27 –Thu, Sep 28
Register here

Face-to-Face Ice Training
Free training is now available for all Victorians who come into contact with ice-affected people as part of their job.

360Edge, consultants in alcohol and other drug responses, will deliver half day face to face workshops to frontline workers across Victoria as part of the Victorian Government’s $45.5 million ice action plan ‘Taking action, Stopping ice.’ The training will roll out in multiple locations across the State over the next three years. New training sessions will be added to our booking platform regularly.
To see all sessions available and to register, visit:
Download the flyer

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