CHP eNews 2014

30 October 2014

Dear <<First Name>>,

When you say ‘end homelessness’, we think 'housing first’
When people experience homelessness for the first time it’s critical that we stop the cycle of homelessness before it takes hold. That circuit breaker is almost always a safe, permanent, affordable home.

Rapid rehousing is a key plank of CHP's state election platform and we're calling for $54 million over four years to house more than 5,000 people in temporary and crisis accommodation each year. Full details of our election platform can be found here, along with other information relating to homelessness.

The core elements of a rapid rehousing program are:

  • Aimed at people who have previously held a tenancy
  • An emphasis on getting permanent housing as quickly as possible (in the United States this is under 30 days)
  • Providing rent subsidies to help people secure a house
  • Support to maintain the tenancy

There’s also an emphasis on support being temporary, as it’s designed to get families into a position where they can once again support their own accommodation. An overview of CHP’s rapid re-housing policy can be found on our website.

In New York a rapid rehousing program implemented between 2005-2011 saw 80 per cent of families who left shelter on a rapid rehousing subsidy remain housed three years on.
In Australia, there is growing evidence to suggest rapid rehousing will work here too. The Accommodation Options for Families (AOF), a partnership between housing organisations in Victoria, supported 416 children and 174 families over 15 months. Through AOF they were able to move out of crisis and achieve greater stability for their children, decreased anxiety, better meet their children’s needs and manage their finances better.

Victorian election – commitments so far
With just two days until the official election campaign kicks off, here is a rundown of commitments from both major parties that have bearing on the homelessness and housing sector:

  • Establish Australia’s Royal Commission into family violence
  • Install CCTV and provide personal duress alarm cards to women at risk of violence from men
  • $600,000 to upgrade Gatwick Hotel and provide housing and drug and alcohol support for residents through Sacred Heart Mission and St Kilda Community Housing.
  • A commitment to keep Elenara House open
  • $150 million over 4 years for a range of family violence prevention initiatives, including expanded crisis and emergency accommodation for women and children, GPS tracking devices for perpetrators of violence and a $41 million family violence prevention campaign
  • $22 million for two new 40-bed youth foyers

CHP has developed a one-stop shop of resources that make it easy to get involved and help make homelessness a priority in the election. Letter templates, contact details for candidates, fact sheets and league tables on homelessness and housing stress can all be found on our State Election 2014 webpage.

CHP Annual General Meeting
You're invited to CHP’s Annual General Meeting where we’ll be launching a major evaluation of CHP’s PESP program. We’ve also invited housing and homelessness spokespeople from each party to talk about their homelessness policies ahead of the State election.
Date: Wednesday 19 November
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: Melbourne City Mission Conference Centre, 24 Tope St, South Melbourne
RSVP:  via eventbrite
The meeting is open for anyone in the sector to attend.

Services Connect update
On 9 October DHS announced the successful Services Connect Partnerships, following a tender process. Services connect will see community services providers come together to deliver integrated child and family support, mental health, alcohol and drug treatment, family violence, housing, disability and Aboriginal specific services. Individuals and families will have one point of contact, one plan and one client record.
The locations of the eight Services Connect Partnerships and their lead agencies are:

  • Hume Moreland Services Connect Partnership, led by Kildonan Uniting Care;
  • Outer Eastern Melbourne Services Connect Partnership, led by Anglicare Victoria;
  • Outer Gippsland Services Connect Partnership, led by Gippsland Lakes Community Health;
  • Southern Melbourne Services Connect Partnership, led by Youth Support and Advocacy Service & Connections Uniting Care;
  • Brimbank Melton Services Connect Partnership, led by MacKillop Family Services;
  • Loddon Services Connect Partnership, led by Haven; Home, Safe;
  • North East Melbourne Services Connect Partnership, led by the Children's Protection Society and Berry Street; and
  • Barwon Services Connect Partnership, led by Glastonbury Community Services.
DHS has launched a new website which provides a single point of referral for all things housing-related. From emergency and crisis accommodation access, to public housing and supported housing option, right through to private rental and home ownership information, the site puts all related information in one place, in a clear and easy to use format. Members of CHP’s PESP program helped to shape the functionality of the site.

If you’re not subscribing to Parity, you’re missing out!
Parity continues to be the only Australian publication dedicated to homelessness. The current edition considers the theme ‘From outputs to outcomes: A new approach to ending homelessness’. If you’re not a subscriber, consider signing up.
Below is a taster from this month’s opinion piece by The Salvation Army’s Jason Davies-Kildea. You can read the full article free here.
“Even the foundational task of setting a baseline for measurement is not necessarily as intuitive as one might expect. Anyone who has worked in homelessness knows that getting the best outcome usually goes way beyond ticking a box marked ‘got housing’.
The measurement of outcomes also provides challenges to prevention and early intervention approaches because it is much more difficult to measure something that did not happen because of a successful intervention or preventative program. ” Read full article

Online surveys of carers and caseworkers – Beyond 18 Study
The surveys seek input from carers and professionals servicing the current needs of young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria.
To take part, go to the carers survey or the caseworkers survey on the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) website. The surveys are part of a five-year longitudinal research study of young people transitioning from care in Victoria called Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care.
More info: Phone (03) 9214 7888 or Freecall: 1800 352 275 (except from mobile phones) or Email the project team

Real Estate with a social conscience
As you’ve probably heard by now, HomeGround Services has established a not for profit real estate agency that aims to increase affordable housing stock and generate income to boost capacity to house people in need. Recently one of their own staff decided to have his investment property managed by HomeGround Real Estate. The employee, Marcus said “I would prefer it (the management fee) to go to an agency that puts money back into housing. It’s good to be able to provide something that has in a small way contributed towards ending homelessness”.
Since launching HomeGround Real Estate in March this year over 50 properties have become tenanted and more than 60 in negotiation.
Potential tenants will be assessed for properties against industry standard criteria for market rent properties. If your property falls into the affordable housing category we will match the most appropriate tenant to a property and also apply an income test criteria.
For property management enquires contact:
Andrea Levey
P 9288 9676
M 0414 469 518

STREAT's Youth Programs currently accepting referrals
STREAT is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers a range of hospitality-based programs to disengaged or disadvantaged young people aged 16-25.
Main Course Program - part 1 commences 17 November
A two-part supported program including workplace training and mentoring, a life skills group program, social engagement, individual support and referral.
Part 1 (commencing 17 November) is 3 days/week for 10 weeks and includes a Certificate I in Vocational Preparation. 
Part 2 (commencing 9 February) is 3-4 days/week for 20 weeks with an optional Certificate II in Hospitality. Applications are accepted year round.
Entree Program
The Entree program is for young people wanting to access work experience (in hospitality), and is a great way to give STREAT a try before going on to our Main Course program.
Young people can start an Entree program at any time and it is provided at no cost. More info here.
Hearing Voices support group @ The Living Room
The support group is run by voice hearers for voice hearers who includes anyone who experiences/ has experienced; hearing voices, seeing visions or having unusual beliefs. Participants do not have to have any particular diagnosis, they just have to report the experience of hearing voices.
Run by voice hearers for voice hearers, this support group meets every Thursday at 11am at The Living Room, 7-9 Hosier Lne, Melbourne.
For more information, phone Carolina Aguirre or Tom Hall on (03) 9945 2100

WIRE – AMICA Women’s Lunch Club
WIRE is running a FREE program AMICA Women's Lunch Club for women who are experiencing isolation, and/or housing issues and provides women with the opportunity to reconnect socially with other women in a safe, friendly women-only space.
Date: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Time: 11.30am – 3pm
Location: WIRE 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne
More information: or contact Anna Andersson on 9348 9416 (option 2)  or via email 





CHP Updates 

CHP event: Facilitating access and supporting treatment: The role of homelessness workers in the new mental health and AOD sectors
 This forum will bring SHS workers together with representatives from Mental Health and AOD organisations to discuss how best to support clients accessing, waiting for, or receiving support and treatment.There have been significant changes to both the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug sectors this year. Making sure people experiencing homelessness can get the assistance they need within these new systems is critical.
Date: 9 December 2014
Venue: The Main Hall, St Michaels Uniting Church, 120 Collins St Melbourne
Registrations: Eventbrite
More info: Trish Westmore  

Call for contributions - November 2014 'Living in Limbo: Asylum seekers and homelessness' 

Many asylum seekers on bridging visas living in the community who are waiting until their asylum claims are resolved have little or no access to financial support and assistance. In recent years specialist homelessness services have been seeing increasing numbers of asylum seekers who have sought housing and other forms of assistance. This edition of Parity is devoted to examining the homelessness experienced by asylum seekers and in particular the program and service responses to these issues.
Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of Friday 14 November.
Contribution details can be found here.

Call for contributions - February 2015: 'Homelessness Outreach: Reach Out'
Homelessness outreach is now an integral part of the specialist homelessness services system. This edition of Parity will explore the the role of outreach in homelessness service delivery and in a growing number of mainstream welfare service providers.
Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of Friday 13 February
Contribution details can be found here.

In case you missed the news!
The Age
Domestic violence strategy lacks funding and focus: women’s group Wednesday 16 October
The Age Kevin Andrews says welfare reform a two-term exercise Tuesday 20 October
Dandenong Leader Greater Dandenong families being crushed by weight of rent Thursday 16 October
The Australian Women spend longer than men living on the streets Tuesday 14 October
ABC Regional Figures highlight Eildon rental stress Thursday 24 October
Warrnambool Standard Warrnambool facing public housing crisis Monday 27 October
Moreland Leader Affordable housing alarm Tuesday 28 October
Melton Leader Renters hit hard Tuesday 28 October
Preston Leader Rent stress builds Tuesday 28 October
Herald Sun Online Rent unaffordable Tuesday 28 October
Dandenong Springvale Leader Rooming house problem exposed Tuesday 28 October
The Conversation We remove kids from abuse and neglect, but are they better off in the long-run? Monday 27 October
The Age Abbott Government in talks with banks about welfare cards Friday 24 October

Wodonga Institute of TAFE has released their SHS training calendar for August-December 2014. Wodonga Institute of TAFE are the key provider of training to the Specialist Homelessness Sector offering a range of tailored low cost training programs. Download the calendar here.

How to help with housing: Tenancy issues training for community workers and lawyers.
After this training day you will know what to do when that client has a rental housing issue. You will know the basics of housing and rental laws, how to navigate your client through the legal maze and the best referral pathways. You will be empowered to directly help them achieve a positive outcome.
Date: Tuesday 11 November 2014
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Venue: Sunshine Visy Hub, 80B Harvester Rd, Sunshine, Victoria
RSVP by 4 November 2014 by
More info: (03) 8312 2010 or email or see the flier.

VICSERV training: Working Effectively with Clients Considered 'Complex and Challenging'
This interactive and exploratory workshop is developed for CMMH workers, mental health clinicians and others working with clients considered complex and challenging. This workshop addresses client and system level issues, provides practical, grounded strategies and effective work practices and enhanced processes for decision making around managing risk. For more information and to register
Date: Monday 24 November 2014,
Location: VICSERV, Elsternwick, Victoria.
More info click here.

Berry Street: Family Drug Treatment Conference
The inaugural Family Drug Treatment Court Conference will provide delegates with detailed insight on the development and operation of the first Family Drug Treatment Court in Australia. Local and international speakers will discuss working with families with substance misuse using a therapeutic jurisprudence framework and delegates will have the opportunity to engage in Master Classes covering legal and therapeutic intervention.  
Date: 11 & 12 November
Time: 9.30am - 430pm
Where: Monash University Law Chambers
Cost: $180-$350 inc GST

Challenging Responses to Family Violence Conference
This conference will promote opportunities for practitioners, organisations and funding bodies to explore best practice models for the ongoing provision of prevention and support programs for those affected by family violence.
Date: 12-13 November 2014
 Ballarat, Victoria.
 For more information and to register click here.

6th Annual Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium
Date: 12-14 November 2014
Location: Albury, Victoria.

The number of Australians experiencing mental health problems in rural and remote areas is estimated to be comparable to major urban centres. However, the rural and remote community faces a greater challenge with limited access to mental health services and support. The Symposium theme, The Practitioner's Voice, seeks to give voice to those practitioners who are faced with these challenges on a regular basis. For more information click here, or contact the Symposium Secretariat, Sarah Jones on (61 7) 5502 2068.

Australasian Housing Researchers Conference 2015
Hosted by the AHURI Research Centre, the Australasian Housing Researchers is open to all researchers concerned with housing affordability and homelessness, housing policy and planning, housing economics, housing sustainability, and regional, national and international housing markets.
Date: 18-20 February 2015
Location: University of Tasmania, Hobart
More info here.

VAADA conference ‘Evolution: Innovation and reflection in Victoria’s alcohol and other drug sector’
Date: 19-20 February 2015
Location: Catholic Leadership Centre, 576 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne
Registrations and more info:


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© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic

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