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Victorian Homelessness Action Plan Deb Tsorbaris – Director, Client Services & Programs 7 August 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Victorian Homelessness Action Plan Deb Tsorbaris – Director, Client Services & Programs 7 August 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victorian Homelessness Action Plan Deb Tsorbaris – Director, Client Services & Programs 7 August 2012

2 2 Victorian Context Victorian Homelessness Action Plan ▪Ministerial Advisory Council on Homelessness (MACH) ▪System Reform ▪Immediate funding of current programs ▪Innovation Action Projects (IAPs) Pathways to a Fair and Sustainable Housing System DHS restructure Service Connect

3 3 What we know about our current service system Over the past five years: Expenditure has increased by 39 percent from $118.9 million in to $165.8 million in ; The number of clients receiving homelessness services has increased by 7.1 percent; There have been significant increases in specific client groups. Children under 15 (increased by per cent) and people aged (increased by percent); Children under 15 and people aged over 60 remain the smallest age cohorts receiving homelessness services ; Youth aged remain the largest cohort making up percent of homelessness service users; The number of children who access homelessness services with their parents / families has increased by 55 percent; 3

4 4 What we know about our current service system (continued) Funds more than 150 agencies to deliver homelessness support services. Many of these organisations also receive funding to deliver other DHS and DOH services; Funds through-put not outcomes; The current homelessness support service system is largely crisis driven; The sector tells us that more clients with complex needs are requiring support; This suggests the current response is not getting to the root cause of homelessness. 4

5 5 Why people become homeless Their relationship with a family member, spouse or partner breaks down (44 per cent) They face eviction and are asked to leave their current accommodation (21 per cent) They have insufficient money to pay for accommodation, food, bills or other essentials (19 per cent). Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Government-funded specialist homelessness services: SAAP National Data Collection Annual Report, p.4.

6 6 Five years into the future – Our shared vision Prevention and early intervention will underpin homelessness policy and service delivery in Victoria Funding will be linked to demonstrating the achievement of client outcomes Service responses will be integrated and clients will receive the range of support they need to address barriers to housing stability and economic independence. 6

7 7 Innovation Action Projects ‘Detour’ - Melbourne City Mission, Kids Under Cover, Uniting Care Cutting Edge. Will target a number of support and accommodation options for young people. Will connect young people to their families and their community and provide them with skills and employment. ‘HomeConnect Hub’ - Vincent Care Victoria, Anglicare Victoria, Australian Community Services Organisation Will connect individuals and families with integrated support before they reach crisis point. A new multi-service hub in Glenroy that will offer integrated services and links with the local community. ‘Regional Outreach for Elderly Homeless’ - Wintringham Specialist Aged Care Will work with older people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness in multiple locations across regional Victoria where it can be difficult to find affordable housing and appropriate aged-care. Will help people sustain affordable accommodation and access aged care and support services. ‘The Geelong Project’ - Time for Youth, Barwon Youth, Swinburne University Builds on a successful local partnership between the education sector and youth services to identify and help young people who are at risk of homelessness and leaving school early and also provide support to their families. ‘Restart’ - Mission Australia, Melbourne Citymission Will provide comprehensive support, training and long term accommodation options for women with complex needs and their children.

8 8 Innovation Action Projects ‘Back on Track’ - Haven, Advocacy and Rights Centre, Centre for Non-Violence, Cobaw Community Health Service, St Luke’s Anglicare A new early intervention and prevention service to people whose tenancies are at risk. Will work closely with local real estate agents. ‘Star Housing’ - Rural Housing Network together with 14 health and welfare partners in north-eastern Victoria Will work with individuals and families who are in the private rental market who may be at risk of losing their tenancy, or with people who are struggling to access the private rental market. ‘Safe Exits’ - The Salvation Army Victoria Property Trust: Project 614, Interact Australia, Recover Australia Will provide wrap around case management, support and employment assistance in the inner-city to link people with mental health services and employment and training. ‘Home at Last’ - Housing for the Aged Action Group Will intervene early with older people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness and provide a one stop information centre for housing and assistance. ‘Next Steps’ - Jesuit Social Services, Brosnan Support Services, Wise Employment Will link employment, housing, and personal support programs for vulnerable young people.

9 9 Innovation Action Projects Innovation Action Projects will focus on four high-risk cohorts:  families, vulnerable women and children  youth  adults  the elderly Innovation Action Projects will support new approaches that reflect an understanding of specific types of support that people need at key transition points in their lives Targeting the right kinds of support at the right time will be a critical feature of the Innovation Action Projects.

10 10 Victorian Homelessness Action Plan Service System Reforms 10

11 11 Concepts of ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ - stemming the tide

12 12 Primary Prevention Macro level and includes capacity building, organisational change, government policy (e.g. to address family violence, re-settlement programs) and investment Primary prevention strategies seek to prevent the problem before it occurs Interventions can be delivered to the whole population (universal) or to a particular group that are at higher risk (targeted or selective) Adapted from VicHealth

13 13 Primary Prevention Example The Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women in Our Community Program ▪Funded in June 2011 by DHS Office of Women’s Policy ▪Involved two metropolitan council clusters and one regional council cluster ▪Will drive attitudinal and behavioural change across a range of settings and services in communities including working with community organisations, schools, workplaces, sporting clubs and local media ▪A ‘whole of community model’ will be delivered to prevent violence against women. 13

14 14 Early intervention definition and aims Early intervention (sometimes referred to as secondary prevention) is targeted at individuals and groups who are either in the early stages of the homeless career or perceptibly ‘at risk’ The aims of early intervention are to: ▪Assist people to avoid long term / chronic homelessness; ▪Prevent homelessness at the individual level; and, ▪Minimise the effects of homelessness. Adapted from Crane, P. And Brannock, J (1996) Homelessness among young people: Early intervention and Prevention

15 15 Early intervention examples The provision of resources, social supports and information that address the key causes and stressors that are associated with homelessness, for example: ▪family reconciliation and mediation ▪HOME Advice and other responses to assist families at risk of homelessness ▪Access to private rental programs ▪Co-located services to intervene early in associated issues such as mental health, AOD, employment, education and training 15

16 16 Early Intervention in IAPs Eleven new projects will test new ways of working to: Build an Evidence Base Create a statistically valid outcomes tool Create Supportive Networks Establish New Partnerships Create Exit Pathways Breaking the cycle of homelessness Improving and expanding service response 16

17 17 What can a focus on Prevention and Early Intervention achieve? Recognition of the need, desire and right of people to be supported by a range of people and community structures while developing their own capacity to participate in and contribute to society Homelessness can be prevented by tackling the structural drivers of homelessness such as: ▪Entrenched disadvantage ▪Unemployment, and ▪Shortage of affordable housing 17

18 18 Possible roles for The Salvation Army Primary Prevention – continue to advocate against inequality and disadvantage and be involved in advocacy and educative initiatives Early Intervention – test new models and monitor progress of other initiatives such as IAPs and sector reform activities Tertiary response – provide quality services to those entrenched in homelessness 18

19 19 In Conclusion We know quite lot about early intervention for young homeless people but what does early intervention look like for families and children? The adult cohort population is from 21 onwards. What group should we be targeting for early intervention? Is early intervention possible for the homeless aging population? If we were to consider intervening earlier what proportion of the current work in the sector should be dedicated to this and which clients should be the main focus? What would it take to move from the current transitional support and case management arrangements to a more early intervention approach?


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