Grants to End Homelessness 2020

The Mercy Foundation Grants to End Homelessness are available for seeding initiatives, services, projects, advocacy and research that will contribute to the goal of ending homelessness by supporting permanent housing, housing first and permanent supportive housing solutions.

The Mercy Foundation’s Grants to End Homelessness program will open in September 2020.

Projects that focus on ending and preventing older women’s homelessness and women who experience chronic homelessness are  priority areas for the 2020 – 2021 program. Grants range from $5,000 up to $50,000 for any one year, with grants likely to be averaging $20,000 – $30,000.

Older women are the fastest growing cohort to experience homelessness in Australia.  A recent study estimated that 405,000 women over 45 years to be at risk of homelessness. Women’s homelessness is due to a number of systemic and compounding factors, such as:

  • an unaffordable rental market
  • lack of superannuation
  • working part time or casually throughout their lives
  • taking time out of the workforce to care for family
  • gender pay gap
  • age discrimination

Many women don’t know where to go for help and are adept at hiding their homelessness. Read more about older women’s homelessness here.

Chronic homelessness is defined as an episode of homelessness lasting 6 months or longer or multiple episodes of homelessness over a 12 month period or more. People who experience chronic homelessness are likely to have ‘complex needs’, which usually means that they have one or more of the following:

  • developmental disability
  • traumatic brain injury
  • serious physical health problems
  • history of abuse or trauma
  • mental illness
  • mental disorder
  • psychiatric disability
  • addictions.

The Mercy Foundation acknowledges that the majority of people experiencing homelessness in Australia do not have high or complex needs. They simply need access to affordable housing and few, if any, supports may be required. However, because our focus is on chronic homelessness – it is often this group of homeless individuals and families who do have additional support needs.

Applicants must be able to specify measurable outcomes from the initiative. Those outcomes will need to show that the project has contributed to ending chronic homelessness or contributed substantially to increasing knowledge about the pathways into and out of homelessness – thereby increasing our understanding of how to prevent and how to end homelessness. All applications will need to outline their evaluation strategy and make clear how such outcomes will be measured.

Applicants must be a legal entity, such as an incorporated association or company. If not, the applicant will need to be auspiced by an appropriate organisation.

Unfortunately at this time, the Mercy Foundation is unable to fund services or projects which require recurrent or indefinite funding. However, depending on the project and its assessed contribution to meeting the objectives of these grants, the Mercy Foundation could choose to fund a project again the following year (subject to a further application). This can only happen in very special circumstances and should not be expected, but if a solid case is made then it might be considered.

THE EOI FORM AND CRITERIA will be available later in the year

Grant Payments Schedule

Grants over $5,000 will generally receive 25% at the start, 50% following a satisfactory progress report and 25% at the completion of the project. The Foundation takes a commonsense approach to the release of funds. Organisations may negotiate to have their funding released in different proportions over the course of the contract if it is shown that the above funding component release would adversely affect their capacity to undertake or complete the project. Where possible, initiatives funded through the ‘Mercy Foundation Grants to End Homelessness’ will be visited at least once during their grant period.

The Mercy Foundation has an Expression of Interest Form (EOI) process. Please contact the Mercy Foundation to discuss your proposed project before completing the EOI form, telephone 02 9911 7390.

This process has been put in place to minimise the amount of paperwork that organisations need to prepare to apply for one of our grants. If your EOI is successful, we will then invite you to submit a full application and proposal form. We will send you all the appropriate forms if your initial EOI is successful. Moving to this next round, (following this EOI process) is no guarantee that the Mercy Foundation will provide a grant for your project.

If you would like to submit an EOI please contact Sue Mowbray at the Mercy Foundation on 02 9911 7390 to discuss your project before submitting your form.

Important Notes

  • You must contact the Mercy Foundation to discuss your project prior to completing this EOI. Your EOI may not be considered if you do not discuss your project with Mercy Foundation staff prior to submission.
  • We receive a high volume of applications. It is your responsibility to ensure we have received your EOI. After submitting your EOI, please call our office if you do not receive an email to confirm that we have received your EOI.

Grants to End Homelessness are only available for projects within Australia.