Homelessness CEOs hold crisis meeting as funding uncertainty threatens jobs of frontline workers


Download this release as a PDF

When: Monday 23 March, 9.45am

Where: Salvation Army Flagstaff Crisis Accommodation, 9 Roden St, West Melbourne

What: 30 CEOs of Victorian homelessness and family violence services will hold a crisis meeting in Melbourne after ongoing uncertainty around $115 million Federal funding which ends in 100 days.

The CEOs of over 30 homelessness and family violence organisations will hold a crisis meeting in Melbourne to discuss looming job cuts that may see more than 200 workers made redundant due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding $115 million of Federal funding. The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness expires on 30 June, and provides $23 million of funding to Victorian homelessness agencies.

“Today marks 100 days until this funding dries up, and we’re yet to hear a whisper from the Federal Government about their plans. Waiting until the May budget for news is too late. Services need to give three months’ notice to staff on contracts, so in the coming week services will be forced to make some very difficult decisions,” said Ms Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons, the peak body for homelessness in Victoria.

“We’re looking down the barrel of over 200 jobs being lost in Victoria. These are the frontline workers that tackle youth homelessness, help women and children fleeing family violence stay safe and help people sleeping rough get a roof over their heads.”

As well as the impact on the homelessness workforce, CEOs will discuss how to support a rising number of people in the face of funding uncertainty. In 2013-14, the number of people seeking assistance from homelessness services jumped from 92,000 to 99,000.

“More clients are knocking on the door of homelessness services than ever before as the impact of rising unemployment, family violence and the housing crisis take hold. And yet services are fighting the battle with one hand tied behind their back because they can’t plan beyond 30 June,” said Ms Smith.

Attending the crisis talks will be CEOs of services that support young people experiencing homelessness, people sleeping rough and women and children escaping family violence.

With family violence the number one cause of homelessness, CHP has pointed out the importance of funding certainty.

“It is a total paradox for the Federal Government to be placing such an emphasis on tackling family violence, whilst at the same time leaving the very services that support them hanging,” said Ms Smith.

Media enquiries Lanie Harris, lanie@chp.org.au or 0418 552 377

Interviews available with clients, workers facing redundancy & CEOs

Full list of attendees at the crisis meeting

 

CEO name (or rep)

Service

 

1

Jenny Smith

CHP

 

2

Heather Holst

Homeground Services

 

3

Tony Keenan

Hanover

 

4

Fiona McCormack

Domestic Violence Vic

 

5

John Blewonski

VincentCare

 

6

Paul Turton

Melbourne City Mission

 
   

7

Jocelyn Bignold

McAuley Community Services for Women

 

8

Alan Wilson

Quantum Support Services (Morwell)

 

9

Julie Kun

WIRE Women’s Services

 

10

Jason Davies-Kildea

Salvation Army

 

11

Jane Barnes

Salvation Army

 

12

Janine Mahoney

Safe Futures

 

13

Cathy Humphrey

Sacred Heart Mission

 

14

Jo Swift

Kids Under Cover

 

15

Donna Bennet

Hope Street Youth & Family Services

 

16

Theresa Swansborough

Royal District Nursing Service

 

17

Sandie De Wolf

Berry Street

 

18

Rob Sago

Merri Community Services

 

19

Janet Goodwin

South Port Community Housing Group Inc.

 

20

Libby Jewson

WRISC

 

21

Carol Muir

UnitingCare Werribee Support & Housing

 
 

22

Fiona Nicholls

Anchor

 
 

23

Kelly Stanton

Wesley Mission Victoria

 

25

Mark Bolton

Ladder

 

26

Stella Avramopoulos

Kildonan Uniting Care

 

27

Paul McDonald

Anglicare

 

28

Margaret Grigg

Mind Australia

 

29

Niall Hensey

 

Haven; Home, Safe (Loddon Mallee Housing Services)

 

30

Steve Maher

Wombat Housing

 

31

Robyn Gregory

Women’s Health West

 

 

 

When: Monday 23 March, 9.45am

Where: Salvation Army Flagstaff Crisis Accommodation, 9 Roden St, West Melbourne

What: 30 CEOs of Victorian homelessness and family violence services will hold a crisis meeting in Melbourne after ongoing uncertainty around $115 million Federal funding which ends in 100 days.

The CEOs of over 30 homelessness and family violence organisations will hold a crisis meeting in Melbourne to discuss looming job cuts that may see more than 200 workers made redundant due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding $115 million of Federal funding. The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness expires on 30 June, and provides $23 million of funding to Victorian homelessness agencies.

“Today marks 100 days until this funding dries up, and we’re yet to hear a whisper from the Federal Government about their plans. Waiting until the May budget for news is too late. Services need to give three months’ notice to staff on contracts, so in the coming week services will be forced to make some very difficult decisions,” said Ms Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons, the peak body for homelessness in Victoria.

“We’re looking down the barrel of over 200 jobs being lost in Victoria. These are the frontline workers that tackle youth homelessness, help women and children fleeing family violence stay safe and help people sleeping rough get a roof over their heads.”

As well as the impact on the homelessness workforce, CEOs will discuss how to support a rising number of people in the face of funding uncertainty. In 2013-14, the number of people seeking assistance from homelessness services jumped from 92,000 to 99,000.

“More clients are knocking on the door of homelessness services than ever before as the impact of rising unemployment, family violence and the housing crisis take hold. And yet services are fighting the battle with one hand tied behind their back because they can’t plan beyond 30 June,” said Ms Smith.

Attending the crisis talks will be CEOs of services that support young people experiencing homelessness, people sleeping rough and women and children escaping family violence.

With family violence the number one cause of homelessness, CHP has pointed out the importance of funding certainty.

“It is a total paradox for the Federal Government to be placing such an emphasis on tackling family violence, whilst at the same time leaving the very services that support them hanging,” said Ms Smith.

Media enquiries Lanie Harris, lanie@chp.org.au or 0418 552 377

Interviews available with clients, workers facing redundancy & CEOs

Full list of attendees at the crisis meeting

 

CEO name (or rep)

Service

 

1

Jenny Smith

CHP

 

2

Heather Holst

Homeground

 

3

Tony Keenan

Hanover

 

4

Fiona McCormack

DV Vic

 

5

John Blewonski

VincentCare

 

6

Paul Turton

Melbourne City Mission

 
   

7

Jocelyn Bignold

McCauley Women’s Services

 

8

Alan Wilson

Quantum Support Services (Morwell)

 

9

Julie Kun

WIRE Women’s Services

 

10

Jason Davies-Kildea

Salvation Army

 

11

Jane Barnes

Salvation Army

 

12

Janine Mahoney

Safe Futures

 

13

Cathy Humphrey

Sacred Heart Mission

 

14

Jo Swift

Kids Under Cover

 

15

Donna Bennet

Hope Street Youth & Family Services

 

16

Theresa Swansborough

RDNS

 

17

Sandie De Wolf

Berry Street

 

18

Rob Sago

Merri Community Services

 

19

Janet Goodwin

South Port Community Housing Group Inc.

 

20

Libby Jewson

WRISC

 

21

Carol Muir

UnitingCare Werribee Support & Housing

 
 

22

Fiona Nicholls

Anchor

 
 

23

Kelly Stanton

Wesley Mission

 

25

Mark Bolton

Ladder

 

26

Stella Avramopoulos

Kildonan Uniting Care

 

27

Paul McDonald

Anglicare

 

28

Margaret Grigg

Mind Australia

 

29

Niall Hensey

 

Loddon Mallee Housing Services trading as Haven; Home, Safe

 

30

Steve Maher

Wombat Housing

 

31

Robyn Gregory

Women’s Health West