Information for Journalists and Media on Homelessness
Content expertise on homelessness solutions
The Mercy Foundation is committed to social justice and addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality in our community. It has a special interest and content expertise in the issue of homelessness, better understanding all aspects of homelessness as well as its solutions. The Mercy Foundation is working with other organisations across Australia to support evidence based solutions to end homelessness for individuals and families who are experiencing it.
What we do
The Mercy Foundation advocates, educates and makes grants that address homelessness in Australia. We stay up-to-date with the latest research and encourage evidence based responses to addressing and ending homelessness.
We don’t believe a country that is as wealthy as Australia should have people who experience homelessness for long periods. No one should be chronically homeless. We understand that housing crises do occur and crisis responses are often required. However we also know that it is essential that individuals and families be permanently re-housed as quickly as possible.
What we don’t do
The Mercy Foundation quite specifically does not support activities that do not contribute to ‘ending’ someone’s experience of homelessness. We understand that food and warmth are very important when people experience homelessness, however we believe there are an adequate number of organisations who already have this as their key focus. It is important that some organisations also have a focus on the longer term and often more difficult goal of ending people’s experience of homelessness through housing. We also acknowledge that some people may also require ongoing support to sustain that housing.
What ‘ending homelessness’ looks like
Addressing the root causes of poverty and issues of affordable housing are important structural factors that will solve homelessness for many Australians. When we conceptualise the notion of ‘ending homelessness’ this is what it will look like:
- No Australian will experience long term (or chronic) homelessness.
- Individuals or families in a housing crisis will have their homelessness prevented.
- If an instance of homelessness cannot be prevented, individuals and families will receive immediate crisis services and temporary accommodation and be re-housed as quickly as possible (Rapid Re-housing).
- Anyone who experiences homelessness will be assisted into stable, affordable, permanent housing as quickly as possible (Housing First). If they also need support services to help sustain that housing, this will be available (Permanent Supportive Housing).
- Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing will become ‘business as usual’ responses to homelessness in Australia.
- There will be an adequate supply of ‘permanent supportive housing’ options for the small number of people with significant disability, health or behavioural problems who require ongoing support to sustain housing.
The Mercy Foundation is an independent voice, informed by evidence and current research on the issue of homelessness, its causes, consequences and solutions. We receive no government funding.
For further information contact Sue Mowbray, CEO Mercy Foundation on 02 9911 7390