Organisations funded through our Grants to End Homelessness program this year are making an impact on solving homelessness across Australia:
⇒ In NSW, Head Start Homes is an initiative that helps people in community housing to purchase their own home. The result is home ownership for one family and as they move into private home ownership, another family has access to community housing. There are currently 46,530 applicants on the NSW housing register and 4,484 priority applicants. The Head Start Guarantee provides a pathway into home ownership by acting as a guarantor. The first home ownership pathway will be completed early next year.
⇒ In Melbourne, funding to Baptcare Ltd helps find secure housing for women and children seeking asylum who have also experienced family violence. Many have been homeless for more than 6 months. Women on spouse visas that leave their home due to family violence and apply for protection nay not be eligible for any income support until their spouse visa expires. Many women have already experienced trauma in their home countries. Living in a new country and dealing with family violence can have additional detrimental effects on their mental health. The grant enabled three more houses to be made available for women and children fleeing family violence.
⇒ In the ACT, YWCA Canberra’s ‘Rentwell’ initiative is providing affordable and secure housing to older women and single parent families. Rentwell is Caberra’s first charitable property management service, prioritising people who struggle to maintain tenancies in the mainstream market. Safe, secure housing is fundamental to getting lives back on track and for children to thrive. Rentwell has now tenanted 10 properties to older women and single parent families.
⇒ In Hobart, Coffee Ground is a new social enterprise cafe providing training, employment, social inclusion and support for people who have experienced homelessness. Ten people have completed the TasTAFE Barista course and seven are now employed at Coffee Ground. The café has also achieved its breakeven point of selling 100 coffees a day. Coffee Ground is an initiative of Salvation Army Housing Common Ground Tasmania to help people who have experienced homelessness access employment, improve self esteem and help break the cycle of homelessness.
Our Grants to End Homelessness program 2019/2020 attracted 44 expressions of interest this year. The final selection of grants will take place in February for funding in 2020.
⇒ In the last few months we have worked with the End Street Sleeping Collaboration to run a Connections Week (Registry Week) in inner Sydney. Connections Week enables a community to know the names of every person experiencing street homelessness and an understanding of what type of housing and support each individual needs. The information collected is confidential. The person surveyed determines which services or organisations have access to their information.
Connections Weeks provides valuable data that indicates who services need to work with as a matter of priority, what type of housing and support is needed, how we need to reconfigure local systems to be more efficient and what responses are needed to address the drivers of homelessness.