CHP eNews 26 June 2014: Still room for improvement in Victoria’s rooming houses



CHP eNews 2014

26 June 2014

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Still room for improvement in Victoria’s rooming houses
CHP recently released its ‘The state of rooming house reform in Victoria’ report, which looks at the progress that’s been made in improving the standards of rooming houses since the 2009 Rooming House Reform Taskforce recommendatiosn were accepted by the Government.    
Mark Towler, one of our current PESP members, recently took successful legal action against one operator for breaching the Rooming House standards that were introduced in 2013. His story features in this week’s blog.
You can listen to Mark being interviewed on ABC’s Life Matters about his experience here.
The Tenants Union of Victoria, who were instrumental to Mark’s case, have recently launched a new web resource where people can report their experience of dodgy rooming houses.

Our Community Counts: march for a fair Australia
On Sunday 6th July CHP is joining with a broad range of community sector organisations and others to voice our concern about the impact the proposed Federal Budget will have on those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. In particular, CHP is concerned that proposed changes to Newstart and Youth Allowance will see more young people pushed into homelessness.    
We invite you to join us to show that our community counts and to march for a fair Australia.

Date: 6 July 2014 
Time:  1pm – 3pm
Venue: Queen Victoria Gardens, opposite the Arts Centre, Melbourne
You can find out more about the rally here. We hope to see you there.

Federal Election Youth Forum: Examining the impact on young people and youth services
CHP, YACVic, VCOSS and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare have partnered to  host a forum for the youth sector on the recent Federal budget and how it might impact both young people and the sector that supports them. 
The half-day forum brings together key service areas; housing, employment, mental health and family support. We will also hear directly from young people likely to be affected.

Date: Thursday 17 July
Time: 1-5pm
Venue: The Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
Speakers:  Rebekha Sharkie, Executive Officer of the National Youth Connections Network – other speakers to be confirmed shortly.
Cost: Free to Members of YACVic, VCOSS, CHP and/or The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, $25 for non-members
Register: here 
Tune In Now – a toolkit for people who work with men experiencing homelessness
Homelessness Australia, with funding from beyondblue, has launched a national resource for homelessness workers to ‘have the conversation’ about depression and anxiety with men experiencing homelessness.  Tune In Now is a toolkit which incorporates videos featuring men who have experienced homelessness and mental health issues. Amongst those people featured are Ben, Peter and David, who are members of CHP’s PESP program.

Young people leaving out-of-home care struggle to find affordable housing
It’s difficult enough for young people who have the support of their families to get into the private rental market, but that it is almost impossible for those who lack such support. In a recent post for The Conversation, Shelley Mallet, Manager of Policy and Reseach at the Brotherhood of St Laurence  explored the difficulties faced by the nearly 3000 young people nationally who exit out-of-home care services each year. Evidence suggests that anywhere between 40-60% of these young people will be homeless within a year of leaving care.  In its pre-budget submission, CHP proposed a Housing Guarantee fund be introduced to make sure young people leaving care have the financial resources needed to secure housing.

Impact100 – A grant opportunity for organisations addressing homelessness.  
Impact100 Melbourne is on a mission to provide high-impact grants, raise the profile of lesser-known NFPs and increase involvement in philanthropy across Melbourne.  In 2014 Impact100 Melbourne will consider eligible applications that address homelessness in Melbourne, for a major grant of up to $100,000. For more information go to the Impact100 website. Applications close 18 July 2014.
PDRSS / MHCSS – Fact sheet for families and carers
As previously announced, a major overhaul of the PDRSS system will come into effect from August 2014, including the introduction of a new name Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS). This Department of Health fact sheet is for families and carers of a person who is currently receiving support through the PDRSS program. It provides information about the changes, when these will occur and how these changes might affect the person you care for.

Minister opens Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard Youth Services
On 18 June, Minister Lovell joined Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, young clients and representatives of Melbourne City Mission to officially open the revamped Frontyard Youth Services centre in King Street on behalf of Melbourne City Mission.
The new open-plan environment allows staff and young people to interact in a more open way,  reducing the risk of misunderstandings or conflict.
The Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) at ACU recently released their Quarterly Research Update. The ICPS aims to enhance the well-being of children, young people and families through quality research, evaluation, training and community education.
The June 2014 update provides information on current research projects, including:

  • Contact: Keeping contact between parents and children in care;
  • Developing an understanding of how children understand and experience safety in institutions
  • Outcomes of identifying AOD use during pregnancy on women, their parents and their children;
  • Refugee Communities Intercultural Dialogue: Building relationships, building communities; and,
  • Evaluation of Intergenerational Trauma Initiatives

The ICPS Quarterly Research update can be accessed here.

In case you missed the news!

CHP Updates 

PESP update
Three of our PESP members, Mark, Jacqui and Lisa, recently featured in a series of moving videos produced by St Vincent de Paul as part of promotion for the CEO Sleepout. The videos appeared on The Age online in a feature about the pathways to homelessness.
Earlier this year Joal participated in a Heatwave Hypothetical and this week received feedback, “We are so happy that you presented such a powerful and persuasive perspective on how heat waves affect homeless people.” An edited video of the event is available here.
Ben and Peter recently took students of Gippsland Grammar on a Homelessness Experience Tour. When asked what they had learnt from the tour, comments from students included, “The most important thing I took away from this is that homelessness is a lot more than a person living in the streets,” and “That the definition of homelessness is a person who has no safe shelter for a long amount of time.”

The May edition of Parity landed on desks this week, with the theme of Housing Insecurity and Homelessness. If you haven’t got your copy, subscribe now!
Call for contributions: July 2014 Parity ‘Education, Employment, Recreation and Volunteering’
This edition will be devoted to the the role that education, employment and other social inclusion activities play in determining life chances, including income, and ultimately access to housing and accommodation.
Contributions close on 10 July. Contribution details can be found here.

Working with young people workshop – self harm/self injury behaviours
The complexity of issues facing young people today continues to grow. Adolescence is in itself a time of conflict. This workshop utilises the latest research to better equip workers with young people, and will provide answers applicable to your day-to-day work.
Date: Monday 21 July 2014
More info is available here.
Working with adult survivors of complex trauma
Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) presents this full day workshop designed for diverse health personal who work with adult survivors in various capacities
Date: Friday 15 August 2014
Venue: Cliftons Melbourne Level 1, 440 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: Full: $250 Concession: $190
More info:  or 02 8920 3611

COTA for older Australians presents: National Policy Forum – Making an Australia for all ages
The reality of a rapidly ageing society is at the centre of current debates on superannuation, workforce participation and the welfare system.
COTA’s National Policy Forum brings together a number of high profile and persuasive thinkers, academics and social commentators to discuss how ready Australia is to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges of this demographic change.
Date: Tuesday 22 July
Venue: National Press Club, Canberra
Time: 9am to 5pm
Registration: COTA Members $90 inc GST Non Members $210 incGST
More info is available on the website.

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.

Homelessness Australia Conference – Early Bird registrations close 11 July
Register before 11 July to get the Early Bird rate for the 8th National Homelessness Conference: Complexities & Countermeasures!
Date: 10 – 12 September 2014
Venue: Gold Coast
Cost: Early Bird  HA member – $1195; Early Bird non-HA member – $1295
Further information can be found on the conference website.

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