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Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS) Advocacy/effective complaint management Rights based service delivery/culture Consumer participation Consultation/Partnerships/Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS) Advocacy/effective complaint management Rights based service delivery/culture Consumer participation Consultation/Partnerships/Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS) Advocacy/effective complaint management Rights based service delivery/culture Consumer participation Consultation/Partnerships/Education

2 Organisational Context

3 Homeless people form one of the most powerless and marginalised groups in society. Responses to their need should aim to empower them and maximise their independence. These responses should be provided in a way that respects their dignity as individuals, enhances their self esteem, is sensitive to their social and economic circumstances, and respects their cultural backgrounds and their beliefs. SAAP Act 1994 Transforming rights rhetoric into rights culture

4 Background Victorian Homelessness Strategy Homelessness Advocacy Service incorporating the Peer Education Support Program Homelessness Assistance Service Standards Integrated complaints Management System Office of Housing Complaints Management Unit The Consumer Charter and Guidelines: Your Rights and Responsibilities

5 The Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS) HAS was established in 2005 to provide Direct advocacy to people who require assistance in making a complaint with any OoH funded homelessness agency including SAAP, THM, Rooming House and Social Housing Residents Secondary consultation to agencies regarding complaints policy and practice State-wide Training incorporating rights based service delivery, the Homelessness Assistance Service Standards, the Consumer Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, consumer participation and effective complaint mechanisms Consumer participation through the Peer Education Support Program Underpinning the vision, mission, goals and strategies of HAS is the understanding that we are all partners in working together to advocate for continually improved sustainable outcomes for people who have experienced homelessness.

6 Advocacy Promoting, supporting & protecting the rights of service users Promoting, supporting & protecting the rights of service users On service user’s instructions, speak, act and respond on their behalf On service user’s instructions, speak, act and respond on their behalf Ensure issues are articulated in a clear format and are responded to in a transparent and consistent manner Ensure issues are articulated in a clear format and are responded to in a transparent and consistent manner HAS is not an initiator, mediator, investigator, prosecutor or arbiter of disputes

7 Examples of Complaints Lack of respect and dignity Eviction Breach of privacy Service exclusion Discrimination Withholding information regarding rights and responsibilities Prescriptive/patronizing attitudes Appropriate, affordable and accessible?

8 Dignity, Respect and Justice we can we can’t be respectful know what is best for others listen and consult rely on assumptions offer another view impose our views change ourselves change others have a vision for the future force others to share it learn from our experiences deny the validity of other experiences make ourselves available make others engage with us provide constructive feedback denigrate or defame encourage change control processes or outcomes have hope decide if someone is hopeless change the world St Luke’s innovative resources 1999

9 Peer Education Support Program (PESP) List some interesting facts about Women’s History Month PESP launch The Consumer Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for community –managed housing and homelessness services Respect, Dignity, Fairness, Participation Flexibility, Privacy, Inclusion These values are central to the 11 mutual rights articulated in the consumer charter Equal Service Guidelines

10 Resources HAS is a statewide program with four funded positions – Coordinator, Advocate x 2 and a PESP Supervisor. The PESP team is made up of six volunteers who have experienced homelessness Free call number – Service providers can contact HAS on or Website: To visit: 34 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065 Useful Resources Commonwealth of Australia Ombudsman A good practice guide to effective complaint handling


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