“Streamined access” means more staff at Access Points and better promotion of homelessness services
In CHP’s Framework for ending homelessness paper which was submitted to Government in December, we call for more streamlined access to the homelessness system. So what do we actually mean by ‘streamlining access’? To start with it means increased staff, but it also means better promotion to the public, better connections with mainstream services for referrals and the ability to outreach to allied services .
Investment in ‘streamlined access’ would also allow for better promotion of homelessness services through via the web, phone and face-to-face. A full list of recommendations for ‘streamlining access’ can be found on page 33 of CHP’s position paper, and the breakdown of the costings can be found on in CHP’s pre-budget submission.
Inquiry into the social inclusion of Victorians with a disability – call for submissions.
People with a disability are over-represented as consumers of homelessness services, and part of the reason for this is the difficulty accessing appropriate and affordable housing.
With the recent announcement by the Victorian Parliament of an inquiry into Social Inclusion for Victorians with a disability. the homelessness sector has the opportunity to help shine a light on the issues affecting people with a disability in relation to housing and homelessness by submitting a paper to the Inquiry by 28 February 2014.
A home provides the very basis for social inclusion, so it’s important that these issues are raised at this Inquiry.
There are a range of resources which might be useful in informing submissions including VicServ’s Pathways to Social Inclusion Proposition paper and Hanover’s Homelessness and Disability Report. AHURI also published a comprehensive Evidence Review on the issues impacting people with a disability.
We know the cost of providing homelessness support, but what is the value?
We know that people who are helped out of homelessness will be less likely to need ongoing health services, are less likely to go to prison, and are better equipped to pursue employment and education. In short,there is a financial value that can be identified to offset the cost of providing homelessness services.
Last year AHURI published an Evidence Review which followed 84 clients in supported housing over a 12 months period and found that on average those clients reduced their useage of health, justice and welfare services by $3500 over the year.
A more detailed breakdown of the cohort revealed that single men actually increased their useage of health services in the period directly after becoming housed, whilst decreasing their justice costs. Single women, on the other hand, have a huge decrease in health costs directly following becoming housed,and in total reduced their service useage by about $9000 over the year. The AHURI video gives a very thorough explanation of the research.
Report on Government Services released
The annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) compiles a variety of measures of the performance of government programs across Australia. The Homelessness and Housing reports can be downloaded here.
TUV calls for urgent boost to rental assistance needed
The Tenants Union of Victoria (‘TUV’) says the latest Report on Government Services1 demonstrates the ongoing affordability crisis facing low income tenants and calls for Commonwealth Rent Assistance (‘CRA’) to be increased. The Report shows that 40% of all renters in Australia receiving CRA remain in ‘housing stress’, where they spend 30% or more of their income on housing costs. Without CRA over 67% of these renters would be experiencing ‘housing stress’. Read the media release here.
Victoria has lessons to learn about how to deal with extreme heat events, says VCOSS
The high mortality rate during the most recent heatwave shows that Victoria still has lessons to learn about how to deal with extreme heat events.VCOSS has called for better planning and emergency responses to extreme heatwaves to prevent further deaths and illness, especially amongst our most vulnerable citizens. Read the full media release here and the blog post ‘Better planning neeed to meet challenge of heatwaves’
New Youth drug and alcohol advice service by YSAS
A new service called YoDAA – Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice – will provide youth workers supporting young people with substance use related problems and dependence with an easily accessible advice, information, referral and networking service, for youth specific alcohol and other drug (AOD) related needs. Read more here.
Young and Pregnant drop-in service
The Young and Pregnant Parenting Program Drop-in service (YAPP) has recommenced, with young expecting parents welcome to drop-in to the service to talk to access information and support, development checks for children and small group parenting information sessions. No appointment necessary.
Date: 10am-4pm Tuesdays
Venue: “The Basement”, located at 19 King St, Melbourne
To find out more, contact Anita Scurrah on 9611 2458 or via email
The homeless need help, and not just in the heat
On Saturday 1 February, The Age continued its ongoing coverage of rough sleeping with an opinion piece that discussed the merits of the Lord Mayor’s plans for places for rough sleepers to retreat to when extreme heat hits Melbourne. The article did not make it online, but here is a snap we took for those who want to read the editor’s thoughts on the Mayor’s plans, as well as CHP’s own proposal for ending rough sleeping through Permanent Supportive Housing.
In case you missed the news!
The Conversation Is ‘unsustainable’ welfare growth really being driven by Newstart?
The Age Melbourne acts on homeless; extends drop-in centre hours
The Age Lord mayor backs oases homeless in heatwave
The Age Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says Melbourne’s homeless life stories harrowing
3RRR Radio (audio file) Sarah Toohey interviewed about CHP’s plan to end homelessness
In the #Twittersphere
@FatherBob “Doyle’s idea, while commendable, treats a symptom but is not a solution.” The Age editorial
@FlickReynolds CHP have outlined a plan to end rough sleeping in Vic. Housing & support = ending #homelessness.
@AnywhereButABed Some great initiatives coming from Melbourne Council. If we build accepting communities, we can end homelessness.
@HomelessInMelb .@kathhomeless has made a blog of her stories she shared during her time on @HomelessInMelb – check it out
@Youth_Projects #heatwave #melbourne only our outreach teams are on foot, sunscreen water, first aid for city homeless this W/E
@FlickReynolds #Homelessness is a temporary state, not a permanent attribute. They are not ‘the homeless‘, they are people.
Capacity building and Policy Offier – CHP
CHP is looking for a talented policy professional to join our small team currently based in Collingwood. More details are available here.
Social Worker – Justice Connect
Justic Connect is currently seeking a Social Worker to play a key role in the Women’s Eviction Prevention Project run through the Justice Connect Homeless Law program. Applications close on the 14th of February 2014. Click here for full job details.