The recipient of the Cath Leary Social Justice Award for 2021 is Home at Last, a service run by Housing for the Aged Action Group. The service offers free and confidential advice, support and advocacy for older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Victoria. Home at Last is available to any older person in Victoria living on a low income with low assets.
The service helps around 1,000 people a year. Last year, 158 people were assisted to find long term, affordable housing, of which 64% were women, nearly half were between 55-64 years old, and 60% were CALD. Most people seek out assistance because of unaffordable housing and financial difficulties.
Nationally, older women are the fastest growing cohort to experience homelessness, increasing by 31% between the last two census. The Mercy Foundation is working with a coalition of organisations to establish a similar style service in NSW.
Congratulations to Housing for the Aged Action Group for this effective and valuable service, helping to end homelessness for older people in Victoria.