5 Things You Need to Know About Indigenous Housing

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There has been a lot of media surrounding the governments’ annual report on Closing the Gap. The results are sobering, and sadly not surprising given the paternalistic and poorly managed implementation by successive governments. Some Indigenous leaders have called for new targets to be included in Closing the Gap, including housing justice, family violence, and children in care. So what is the situation in Indigenous housing? 

Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by homelessness. Among Indigenous people who were homeless on Census night in 2011, 75% were living in severely overcrowded homes. The average household is squeezing in 12 people into a standard sized house, making use of kitchens, verandas and sheds to set up makeshift sleeping places. Overcrowding for extended periods is associated with increased violence, substance abuse and poor outcomes for health, education and employment. It is not just an inconvenience, which is why overcrowding is considered a form of homelessness. 

The Northern Territory has the highest homelessness rate in the country and is 15 times the national average. The Top End also has the smallest supply of services relative to the size of its homeless population, and an estimated one-third of services would need to be relocated to match the distribution of homeless people with places to sleep.

Discrimination in the housing market, shortage of larger houses that can accommodate extended kin, and poor delivery of specialist housing programs means there is a chronic shortage of housing that suits the income and needs of Indigenous people. The National Partnership on Remote Housing was designed to build homes with Indigenous labour and for Indigenous people. A recent review found clear evidence that investment has been of poor quality and failed to engage communities in the process. Implementation has been a cookie-cutter model delivered from the top-down and using fly-in-fly-out workers.  As Robert Cooper from the Larrakia Nation in the NT recently told us, “you need to give ownership to communities or you won’t get good outcomes. It’s not rocket science.” We agree.

The top five regions for homelessness are in remote and very remote areas of the NT. Close to 30 percent of the population of East Arnhem are homeless, compared with less than 2 percent in Sydney and Melbourne. These regions also have the largest gaps between the rich and poor. It is worth mentioning that homelessness might mean different things to Indigenous people – who might consider a connection to country and community more important than a permanent address. That said, overcrowding is a big concern for these communities – and with big-ticket investments like the Remote Housing Partnership, more can and should be done.

Since the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, the number of  Indigenous children in care has risen by 65 percent. Even though Aboriginal kids make up just 5.5 percent of people under 18, they represent 35 percent of those placed in out-of-home care. The lack of access to safe, stable housing exposes children to greater risk of removal. Overcrowding has a clear link to increases in substance abuse, family violence, and makes it near impossible to keep kids happy, healthy and safe. This also reflects the shockingly disproportionate government investment in child protection, compared with preventative programs like keeping people housed. 


If you want to know more about Indigenous housing you can read our interview with Larrakia Nation here, or check out our StreetFunder project of the month here.



Closing the Gap on Housing

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This February will mark 10 years since Kevin Rudd stood on the parliament floor and said ‘sorry’ to the stolen generations. It was a rare moment and the nation seemed poised to genuinely move towards reconciliation.

Sadly, in the 10 years that have passed, not a lot has changed.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 23% percent of the homeless persons, but represent 3% of the population. Seventy-five percent of Indigenous homeless people live in severely overcrowded dwellings – which is considered as a form of homelessness.

Housing impacts every one of the Closing the Gap targets – on health, education, and employment. A home is not just a fundamental right, it is essential to our health and wellbeing.

Lack of housing means many generations live under the same roof, with Uncles and Aunties sleeping cheek and jowl with children on floors, and makeshift bedrooms under verandahs. It is not just an inconvenience – overcrowding has a clear link to family violence, poor health outcomes, kids performance at school and rates of removal by children protection.

The centrality of housing to Closing the Gap is recognised by Indigenous leaders, who have called for housing justice to be included in the targets.

One piece of the puzzle is the National Partnership on Remote Housing. The Partnership is a $5.4b ten-year funding agreement between the Commonwealth and states and territories. A recent review found ‘clear evidence’ that investment in housing has been of poor quality, and failed to engage communities in the process.

Robert Cooper from the Larrakia Nation in the NT has been working in the housing space for over a decade and would like to see the issues of overcrowding addressed by giving more ownership to the community –

“In Cape York some years back, we lobbied to get delivery out of Federal and State government hands, and into the hands of indigenous people themselves. It took 18 months of lobbying, but has been highly successful.”

With the Remote Housing Partnership sitting in limbo, Robert is still trying to win the ear of the pollies and policy boffins – “It needs to be driven by the grassroots. It’s not rocket science.”

Larrakia Nation’s responses to homelessness in Darwin have won National Homelessness Sector Awards for their programs, which include outreach, advocacy and cultural preservation. “Larrakia people have the respect of other communities, and can connect with their experiences and needs.”

With funds provided by our StreetFunders this month, Larrakia will be able to branch out further and provide swags, more accommodation vouchers and provide for other basic needs.

Larrakia Nation is a critical support for people without a place to live in Darwin, but Robert still has his eye fixed on the big picture solutions for indigenous communities across the NT –

“We are continuing to lobby government to develop solutions from the ground up. It comes back to the basic issue – that if you assume the same thing for all indigenous people you won’t get an appropriate response.”

As the nation marks the anniversary of the Apology to Stolen Generations, we are determined to do more than pay empty tribute. We cannot ignore the ongoing inter-generational trauma the nations First People continue to experience. Healing starts not with words, but with action, and a safe, secure place to call home. 

If you would like to support Larrakia Nation, you can donate to our StreetFunder campaign here. You can learn more about their work by following them on Facebook.


Want to learn more? Here are some great resources from around the web…

The Healing Foundation

Stolen Generation Testimonies

Closing the Gap

The National Partnership on Remote Housing

Australian Institute for Health and Welfare and Homelessness Australia (homelessness among Indigenous Australians)



Seventy and Homeless for the First Time: The Rise of Older Women’s Homelessness

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While the stereotypical face of poverty is a older man – a lifetime down on his luck, the fastest growing demographic of people experiencing homelessness is single women over the age of 55.

For 15 years StreetSmart has been funding smaller grassroots organisations on the front line of community services. In recent years we have supported a number of services that are raising alarm bells about the scale of the issue, and the need for urgent reform.

The Women and Girls Emergency Centre provides specialist support for older women, many seeking help for the first time. Program worker Rebecca Wilschefski explained their program supports ‘women who can be up to 70 years old and experiencing homeless first time. It’s hard for anyone, but to be entering a refuge for the first time at such a late age can be a really difficult experience.’  

According to the latest HILDA Survey, women over 60 are the lowest earning of all demographic groups nationally. Having led conventional lives, raised families, worked part time or  in unpaid roles – running the school tuck shop or caring for elderly parents – women have retired with less savings and assets than men their age.

On average women will enter retirement with about half the superannuation a man does. Practically speaking, that means that the average man can live for 22 years on superannuation, while a woman can live for just 12. 

“There is a large cohort of women who don’t have superannuation, and they don’t have housing security. Women aged 55 to 65 and sometimes older, are not eligible for the Aged Pension and are subsisting on NewStart allowance”, April Bragg from the Housing for the Aged Action Group explained. Most of the women have faced years of age discrimination in the workplace, and some women are now in their seventies still fiercely holding on to their part time jobs – fearful of what will happen without that source of income.”

While it is clear that women are victim to lifelong structural settings that have undermined their financial security – the state of the housing market is what is pushing so many women from housing stress into homelessness.

Women who are retiring now are dovetailing a bloated housing market that offers just 1.62% private properties nationally that are affordable to a single person dependant on the Aged Pension, with a withering social housing stock, and governments still taking a decades long nap behind the wheel – older women are paying the price.

Most of the women who present to us are those unable to maintain private rental, apart from limited income high rental prices consume practically all of their income. Many have fallen into ill

Many women who present to us are unable to maintain private rental, which with such high rental prices can consume practically all of their income. Many have fallen into illness after spending a lifetime caring for others, and are now left without the financial security to care for themselves”, says Bragg.

While a woman born in the sixties has certainly faced more outright discrimination than her daughters – the situation has not so radically changed.  Women still make up over two-thirds of Australia’s primary carers, 70 percent of the part time workforce and earn 87c out of every dollar a man does.

With less in the bank, and socio-economic policies that continue to disadvantage women’s financial independence – we should be paying more attention to the experience of the women who came before us, and fighting with them for a better deal.

Wilschefski says there needs to be policy change to ensure women enter mature age with the financial and housing support they need. “If you cannot remain in or re-enter the workforce, cannot claim the Aged Pension, and have no retirement savings because you’ve been in and out of the workforce caring for others – it’s a real poverty trap and it needs to be urgently addressed.”

Our government has a responsibility to ensure policy does not arbitrarily consign women to destitution when they enter older age. There is also a moral responsibility to support women who have helped to a raise generation, and shape a more gender equal future. These are women who have contributed enormously to this country, and who our society owes a great debt. It’s imperative that we do better.


Join the fight to fund better services for older women. Share this article, or donate to our StreetFunder campaign to support HAAG and Women and Girls Emergency Centre.


The State of Housing and Homelessness in 2017

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As we wind up another year, it is a good time to pause and reflect on where we have come from, and where we need to go. Sadly, 2017 has not been a positive year for the state of homelessness. We have continued to backslide on key issues like affordable housing, and maintained the status quo in key funding areas. While government has failed to act, 2017 has also seen increasing public concern, and greater media reporting on the causes and harms of homelessness.


This year saw a steady growth in the number of people being affected by homelessness. People contacting homelessness services has grown by almost 20% over four years, and the critical lack resources and housing options saw 1 in 4 of these people turned away every day.

The overwhelming majority of our partner services tell us that the mix of funding cuts and increased demand are leaving them simply unable to cope. Despite the clear and pressing need, federal leaders have failed to take leadership on the issue. As the Council for Homeless Persons recently stated:

“While new investments in social housing [are welcome], these have come after years of neglect, and in a context in which the cost of renting keeps rising faster than incomes, pushing a constant and increasing flow of people into homelessness. Despite thousands of people lining up at agency doors every year, federal homelessness funding to the states has flatlined. “


Although just a small percentage of those experiencing homelessness are sleeping rough in major cities- as homelessness has grown, so have those seeking refuge in major centres. Sydney and Melbourne both moved to criminalise rough sleeping, fueling a year-long battle that at times turned violent.  

The tent city at Martin Place, also known as Sydney’s 24-7 Street Kitchen and Safe Space stood afoot the Reserve Bank’s doorstep for almost 12 months. Tent City was eventually evicted when the NSW Parliament passed laws that would give the State Government the power to remove people or goods who “were unacceptable impacts on the public.” 

While the issue of homelessness came to the doorstep of political leaders, the NSW government failed to deliver on the need for new housing in the state budget and offered Tent City residents unsafe or completely unsuitable housing solutions.

Moves to criminalise homelessness also took a spotlight in Melbourne, centred around the sharp rise in rough sleepers in the CBD. The City of Melbourne attempted to introduce by-laws that would ban rough sleeping and allow unattended belongings to be confiscated.

The so-called homeless-ban was delayed and eventually dumped in the face of overwhelming public criticism. Clashes between police and protesters were a regular feature of 2017, some of which turned violent.

While local governments have little influence over the major drivers of homelessness, Sydney and Melbourne’s heavy-handed responses have set an unfortunate precedent for how our communities respond to the crisis. Greater cooperation between levels of government, investment, and leadership are all on our wish list for 2018.


Despite the rental market driving a steady stream of people out of their homes, there has been a disappointing lack of federal leadership on easing the pressure on renters.

The 2017 federal budget did not set out a national affordable housing strategy and offered no plan to increase government funding for new social housing. The underlying drivers of the inflated housing market – namely negative gearing and capital gains concessions were left untouched.

The first national survey of tenants also revealed that renters in Australia have little security, are living in poor quality homes, experience discrimination based on their income, age, parental status and are fearful of reprisal if they request repairs and maintenance.

Housing affordability and the rights of tenants are central to maintain secure housing. We need public policy treat housing as a fundamental right, not a commodity – and we have a long way to go to shift attitudes and policy on this issue. 


While it has been a disappointing year for government leadership on homelessness –  community concern has grown. Everyday people and businesses are concerned about the crisis unfolding in their community and are taking action.

Major media outlets have placed a spotlight on housing and homelessness, bringing the depth of the problem to the kitchen table of more Australians than ever. The Huffington Post, ABC, SBS aired ‘Filthy Rich and Homeless’ challenged stereotypes, and brought the issue to a large audience.

Our fundraising initiatives bring together businesses, services and local people to raise funds. Through our community engagement, we know that concern is growing. CafeSmart took place in August this year and raised a record $2.85 million for local homelessness services. Our StreetFunder program has grown to raise almost $100 thousand with many people donating for the first time after a Google search on how to support people experiencing homelessness. Our DineSmart campaign will conclude on the 24th of December, with tens of thousands of diners having contributed to help fund local services. 

We cannot end homelessness without dealing with the big picture complexities that are driving the crisis. With more and more people expressing deep concern and being personally touched by homelessness – we are hopeful that 2018 will see government respond to public sentiment and take leadership on the issue.

We would like to thank all of our partners and supporters for joining our work and giving us a strong sense of hope for the future. We cannot end homelessness alone, but we can if we speak out and act together.


Dine Out, Discover, Do Good – A DineSmart Guide to Brisbane

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From classic Italian, to cutting edge European – we have the ultimate guide dining out in Brisbane while supporting local projects that tackle homelessness.

DineSmart Ambassador Andy Buchanan owns two of Brisbane’s leading restaurants – Urbane and The Euro – “We are proud to participate in DineSmart. StreetSmart have strong relationships with the homelessness sector, and the funds we raise support a range of really great projects in Brisbane.” If you have not indulged in the award winning fare Andy’s team dish up, DineSmart is the perfect excuse.

As the name suggests, The Euro offers continental fare, inspired by local ingredients and herbs grown in their kitchen garden. With a menu that ranges from Duck Parfait to Crispy Skin Barramundi you are sure to leave full and feeling a little spoiled.

Urbane is a degustation-only restaurant offering sittings of five or eight courses. Organic and local produce inspire courses made to excite the palate, all of which can be paired with matched wines from the extensive wine list.

Kym Machin is the award winning former head chef at Urbane and The Euro. He and his wife Jade decided to stray from the inner city, and have two offerings in suburban Brizzy. The Bare Bones Society is all about keeping it simple and fresh. The menu is a balanced mixed of healthy treats, like the marinated ocean trout poke bowl – and heavier options like a double bacon cheese burger. You’ll need to keep some room for their Christmas inspired menu serves up treacle baked Christmas ham and Eggnog’ crème brûlée.

Same Same But Different in Corinda is a spin off of Bare Bones offering staples like eggs on sourdough, along side twists on American classics. Think southern fried chicken, burgers and tacos. For dinner you can indulge on Thai broth pork belly, or Confit duck leg.

The Spaghetti House Trattoria is a cosy, family run restaurant located at South Bank. Serving up rustic Italian fare, the extensive menu has you covered for pizza, pasta, gnocchi, and risotto along with a decent selection of cocktails and vino.

Also in South Bank, is the Charming Squire where you can get acquainted with the brewing process as you explore their craft beer range. The chefs put together seasonal menus that are based around locally sourced produce from ethical purveyors, farmers and fish mongers. Expect homemade gnocchi,  fresh seafood, and butcher made sausages.

Some StreetSmart Supported Projects in Brisbane: Zig Zag, West End Community House, The Big Issue, Homeless Persons Legal Clinic, Immigrant Women’s Support Service, Micah Projects, Sisters Inside Inc, Women’s House Shelta, Othilia Young Women’s Housing, Bahloo Women’s Youth Shelter, Suited to Success, Open Doors Youth Service, Tenants Queensland Inc, QCOSS, Third Space and Orange Sky Laundry.


CafeSmart Supporters Power 156 Community Projects

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Here at StreetSmart we love this time of year.  DineSmart is in full swing with 122 restaurants around the country busy raising funds for us and we get to announce our CafeSmart Community Grants – the culmination of all that hard work a few months ago. With the support of thousands of coffee drinkers and more than 763 cafes we were able to raise a record $215,500 back on 4th August. Our generous Sponsors sponsored, Roasters donated beans, baristas brewed, and thousands of people came together to raise funds and take action against homelessness.

The Grenet Foundation and the Australian Communities Foundation kicked in an additional $70,000 in matched funding through our ‘Collective’ – bringing our CafeSmart total to $285,500 for local homelessness projects.

We have been able to support 156 organisations across Australia, including 46 new organisations and 12 Lead Grant projects. A massive thank you to everyone who got involved and made these grants possible – here is where your dollars are headed….


Lead Grant Projects

With public funding uncertainty many important organisations find it hard to test good ideas, extend proven programs, or fully fund priorities. We have selected a number of ‘Lead Grants’ which have received larger grants and through The StreetSmart Collective and philanthropic matched giving we were able to scale these projects to multiply their impact.  

Our First National Lead Grant:

Registry Weeks mobilise people and resources at the local level to understand and respond to individuals experiencing street homelessness in their community with the aim to end street homelessness. Working closely with Australian Alliance to End Homelessness, Mercy Foundation and Micah Projects we are funding more Registry Weeks across Australia to enable more local communities to end street homelessness  Find out more about Registry Weeks here https://www.mercyfoundation.com.au/our-focus/ending-homelessness-2/registry-weeks/


A Look at some State Based Projects…

ACT:  $1250 for food rescue organisation OzHarvest to improve their capacity and storage.
NSW:  $2250  for Make a Difference to help establish and run an Orange Sky Laundry Van in Port Macquarie.
NT: $1250 for The Schools Project to support kids in crisis accommodation to attend school and their after school activities.
QLD:  $1250 for West End Community House to provide a free Community Breakfast to people in their neighbourhood
SA: $1250 for Heart and Soul, a volunteer led food assistance program in Adelaide to purchase an industrial bread slicer.
TAS: $1250 for Tassie Mums, a volunteer led organisation providing support to families in crisis through repurposing kids clothes and equipment.
VIC:  $1500 for NDCH and Mallee Family Care to support people into housing with New Tenant Packs.
WA:  $2,000 for South West Community Legal Centre to support their Homeless Legal Pop Up and Outreach service in regional areas south of Perth.

And here is a wonderful word of thanks from one of our new projects, Camera Story in WA. Working with Youth Futures, Camera Story provide young people experiencing homelessness with a creative outlet to tell their stories and build self confidence.

“Camera Story would love to thank StreetSmart for their decision to award our small but dedicated team this generous grant. Camera Story cannot wait to utilise the grant money to purchase equipment. We intend to place these resources in the hands of the young people we work with, and watch them grow in confidence and capacity through the power of positive photography. We couldn’t have done it without you” Cheers, Jacqueline Warrick & Sarah Landro, Co-founders.


Here’s the State breakdown –   reflecting the funds raised in each State

Lead Projects Total Projects Project Funding
VIC 6 51 $122,750
NSW 5 51 $92,000
QLD 1 22 $33,500
WA 16 $19,000
SA 9 $9,000
TAS 2 $2,500
NT 4 $5,500
ACT 1 $1,250
12 156 $285,500

For full lists of Grants made for each state:

ACT Grants | NSW Grants | NT Grants | QLD Grants | SA Grants | TAS Grants | VIC Grants | WA Grants

Here’s what some of the grant recipients said…

“Yet again StreetSmart have generously supported the Margaret River Soup Kitchen run by the Margaret River Community Centre through the CafeSmart grant. Your support is an invaluable addition to the soup kitchen that provides healthy meals twice a week to people experiencing homelessness and in need and will this year assist us in preparing some caravans for interim housing. Thankyou!”

Tassie Mums loves Street Smart’s support without it we wouldn’t be in a position to continue to provide babies and children of Tasmania with clothing, toys and nappies, including those experiencing homelessness. Thank you Street Smart for your support, it is very much appreciated.”

Albany Youth Support Association would like to thank Street Smart for supporting our self-funded kitchen Garden program, Our application process was very straight forward and we appreciated being approached by Street Smart who have identified the work we do in complex homelessness is worth getting behind with a small grant. Small grants help little things grow into big things.”


Dine Out, Discover, Do Good: A DineSmart Guide to West Melbourne

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One of the things we love about DineSmart is it is a wonderful excuse to explore and fall in love with new restaurants while doing some good.  This year, we have an exciting bunch of venues in Melbourne’s inner west  – and the ultimate guide dining out while supporting local projects that tackle homelessness.

The Bad Love Club is a new kid on the block, and wife and husband team Sarah Ryan and Damien Shaw decided to open in Footscray where Damien grew up. “We have lots of regulars, but we’d also like to see Footscray become somewhere people come to eat and drink. There are lots of great spots – and we all support each other.” The Bad Love Club is your go-to for early morning and after dinner fixes. By morning they serve up Sensory Lab coffee, jaffles and bagels, and by night they do “boozy bakery” treats that pair house baked goods with delicious dessert cocktails.

For a fresh produce inspired lunch head over to Small Graces, a classy but cosy spot opposite the old Little Saigon Market. Owner’s, Diego Portilla and Rebecca Howell are committed to using local, ethically sourced ingredients and produce and are bringing their passion for local impact to DineSmart. “We were looking for ways that we could support community initiatives, and then we found DineSmart.” Vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free will find a variety of options as well as well rounded dishes for the carnivorous.

For some relaxed dining and drinks, head down the road to The Creators Lounge, offering beer, bands, a barbershop and an American diner-inspired menu. The spacious venue offers a relaxed atmosphere to try local brews, and indulge in some loaded fries, burgers, and classic American sandwiches. If you’re feeling the 5 o’clock shadow, pop into the barbers for a quick shave!

La Tortilleria was one of the first restaurants to bring authentic Mexican to Melbourne, and are joining DineSmart for the first time this year. They have already proven themselves to be fundraising heavyweights – recently raising over $20k to support Mexican Earthquake victims. La Tortilleria specialises in in-house real tortillas, and no-frills street inspired Mexican. Enjoy tacos with a chilled sangria in the colourful outdoor dining area.

StreetSmart Supported Projects in the West: Flat Out, Melbourne City Mission, Footscray Community Legal Centre, Second Bite, Multicultural Sudanese Centre, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. We also support domestic violence shelters and indigenous women’s groups.

Where to Go: Bad Love Club, Small Graces, The Creators Lounge, La Tortilleria

How to get there by Public Transport: Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown for Footscray, and Upfield or 57 tram to Kensington.

Looking for something a little closer to home? Check out the full listing of participating restaurants over here.


Coffee Lovers Unite For CafeSmart’s Record Year – plus Awards!

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On the 4th August 763 cafes and 50 Coffee Roasters teamed up with their customers to raise over $200,000. HOW GOOD IS THAT! It was a massive community effort resulting in an increase in donations of 25% (on 2016 results) so we are all pretty chuffed!

A huge thanks and a hearty slap on the back to everyone who participated and chipped into the CafeSmart pot, all those micro donations really add up. We are now busy working to distribute these funds to support local homeless services and will announce recipients in late November. CafeSmart is all about the $1 micro donation and how we can all take action and chip in to make a difference. We love and appreciate all our CafeSmart supporters and participants, and it is certainly the case that the sum is more than the parts, however, we also like to acknowledge our top contributors…

Roaster Awards

The drivers of CafeSmart are our Roaster Partners. They help us connect with the industry and cafes across the country. Coffee Roasters are the engine room of CafeSmart. Our 2017 Roaster Champs were the awesome crew at Single O who recruited and supported 64 of their wholesale customers. A close second and runners up were long-time supporters Five Senses. Our Top Five Coffee Roasters were…

  • Single O
  • Five Senses
  • Campos Coffee
  • Allpress
  • Axil Coffee Roasters
The Single O team take out the Top Roaster Award

The Single O team take out the Top Roaster Award

2017 Café Fundraising Awards

This year we had 30% more cafes involved across Australia with a big jump in NSW and QLD. This means that more homeless projects in those States will be funded and more people helped. Every café who gets involved has an impact on their community, and in some cases cafes go beyond the call of duty. Hats off to our top fundraisers…

The team at Yellow Bernard in Hobart were once again our National Fundraising Champions raising a staggeringly huge $1,686, and Two Chaps in Marrickville were our Runners Up raising an equally amazing $1,541. Single O CBD in Sydney were our ‘Beat Your Best’ Champs increasing their Year on Year tally by the most, and the ‘Best New Café’ went to The Grounds in the City in Sydney. This year we also introduced the ‘Collection Box Challenge’ which was won by On The Go Espresso in Marcoola, Sunshine Coast, who collected $822.50 from their very generous customers. We also acknowledge cafes and people who shone as our Community Champions – putting in a huge effort to make CafeSmart such a success.

David and team at Yellow Bernard, Hobart, Top Fundraisers Award

David and team at Yellow Bernard, Hobart, Top Fundraisers Award

The Full List of Awards…

Fundraising Awards Café Name
National Fundraising Champions Yellow Bernard
National Top Fundraiser Runners Up Two Chaps Cafe
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No. 3 The Grounds of Alexandria
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No. 4 Kwik Koffee Busselton
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No.5 Higher Ground
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No.6 The Grounds of the City
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No. 7 Yelo
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No.8 Single O - Surry Hills
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No.9 Axil Coffee Roasters - HQ
Top 10 National Fundraisers - No. 10 Top Paddock
Beat Your Best Champs Single O - CBD CAFÉ
Beat Your best runners up On The Go Espresso
Beat Your Best - No.3 Kwik Koffee Busselton
Beat Your Best - No.4 Flock Espresso & Eats
Beat Your Best - No.5 The Cog
National Best New Café The Grounds of the City
Best New Café runners up Axil Coffee Roasters - Chadstone
Best New Café - No.3 Le Grove Cafe
Best New Café - No.4 Padre Coffee Sth Melb Mkt
Best New Café - No.5 Milky Joe's
State Champs
ACT Stand By Me
NSW Two Chaps Café
NT Laneway Specialty Coffee
QLD On The Go Espresso
SA Taste the Yorke
TAS Yellow Bernard
VIC Higher Ground
WA Kwik Koffee Busselton
Collection Box Challenge - Winner On The Go Espresso
Collection Box Challenge- Runner up Yellow Bernard
Collection Box Challenge - 3rd Taste the Yorke
Collection Box Challenge - 4th Kwik Koffee Busselton
Collection Box Challenge - 5th Single O - Surry Hills
Community Champions Awards Alowishus Delicious
Danni Mann - Besser Kitchen
Dave Humphrys - On the Go Espresso
Mrs P's
Pioneer Coffee Roasters
Stand By Me Café
Two Chaps Café
Vertue of the Coffee Drink
Yellow Bernard

We couldn’t raise these funds without the support of our event sponsors so a huge shout out and thanks to SKIP (our Principal Sponsors), Broadsheet, La Marzocco and Ordermate for their financial support and commitment to the event and cause, and for the help from supporters Cargo Crew and Beanscene.

Photo Competition

We had over 1250+ photos posted to social media – check out the winners here.
And a selection from the event in our Facebook Photo Album

Finally – thanks to everyone who drank a brew or two on the day and chipped in to help us support people across our communities doing it tough.


Dine Out and Help Someone Sleeping Out this Festive Season

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DineSmart is our longest running campaign, we are more determined than ever to raise much-needed funds for local homelessness services. The backdrop to this year’s campaign is a rising homelessness crisis, and a critical funding shortage in the homelessness sector. 

DineSmart runs in close partnership with some of Australia’s best restaurants, beautiful regional estates, and tiny little eateries that know every customer by name. What they share in common, is a love for their local area.

Restaurants and cafes are part of their local community. The regulars, the passers-by, nine-to-fivers, and those experiencing homelessness all come into contact with local eateries. As the homelessness crisis has seen a rise in people who are sleeping rough, many of those affected seek shelter around busy restaurant hubs.

“We’re based in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and we have seen a real rise in the number of people sleeping rough right on our doorstep. It is easy to feel powerless, but our work with StreetSmart is such an important and tangible way to make a difference.” – DineSmart Ambassador, Nick Peters of Mamasita and Hotel Jesus


Nick Peters, Mamasita and Hotel Jesus


And the funds DineSmart venues raise really do make a difference.

Andrew Grinter owns Pizza D’oh in Blairgowrie. Since 2007 Andrew, his staff and generous customers have raised over $35,000. Every dollar has helped to fund vital local projects including the Southern Peninsula Community Centre’s Emergency Relief Fund.

The Emergency Relief Fund has helped people like Susan and her three kids who were found to be sleeping in their car after escaping family violence. With the support of funds raised by Pizza D’oh, Susan’s and her family were supported into housing, and the kids settled into a new school.

Funding for emergency relief has been slashed from the federal budget over successive years, which has left services unable to support people when they need it. While governments are busy dismantling the social safety net, people like Susan and her family too easily fall through the gaps. The fundraising efforts of DineSmart restaurants and customers provides a lifeline to services who are struggling to support people.

“We have been taking part in DineSmart since 2006. We think it is important for business to give back to the community – so raising funds to support local services that are out there doing the hard work was a simple decision for us. It is such a simple way to effect meaningful change in people’s lives. ” DineSmart Ambassador, Sam Christie of Longrain.


DineSmart will run at participating restaurants for the 15th year between 24th Nov – 24th Dec. If you would like your restaurant to be involved click here, or drop Sharna a line here. Diners contribute by choosing a DineSmart restaurant and leaving their donation on their bill.



Tackling Homelessness in the Suburbs

By | News, StreetFunder | No Comments

So-called ‘tent city’ on the doorstep of the Reserve Bank in Sydney and Flinders Street in Melbourne has generated a lot of media, and heavy-handed responses from public institutions. But sadly, homelessness in metro Australia is just the tip of a much greater problem.

A recent report by the Council for Homeless Persons found that 37% of rough sleepers are in the middle and outer suburbs, whereas only 8% of people sleeping rough gravitate to inner metro areas.

“Rough sleeping in the CBD and central areas has a lot of visibility and media coverage, but there are a lot of rough sleepers in the outer suburbs,” says Jay Church from Anchor Housing, an organisation servicing Melbourne’s Yarra Ranges, and our StreetFunder supported project this October.

The Yarra Ranges includes the very outer urban fringe and semi-rural areas. The region ranks highly housing stress, which is estimated to sit at 30.3%. It also ranks in the top 10 areas for socio-economic disadvantaged communities nationally.

“The Yarra Ranges includes pockets of deep poverty and a highly vulnerable demographic,” Church said. “Coupled with the cost of private rental, the capacity to meet that cost is simply out of reach for lots of people.”

Suburban homelessness is increasing in lockstep with rising housing prices, stagnant wages and, below poverty level income support payments. In areas with few job opportunities, and poor amenities, services like Anchor Housing are a lifeline for people doing it tough.

The Rough Sleeper Initiative engaged rough sleepers in Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra Ranges. They found the majority of people were on some form of income support, and in labour force. “This picture supports a conclusion that labour market conditions and low-income support payments are drivers of increasing levels of homelessness and rough sleeping,” the report said.

Anchor Housing provided 1,839 bed nights in 2016/17 and about 46% of those helped were already homeless when they presented. The other 54% are part of a growing demographic of the ‘almost homeless’ – people in deep financial stress and at risk of losing their home.

Deep cuts to the federal social services budget over successive years has stripped away the ability of many services to assist people in crisis who need assistance with bills, rent, medicines, food and other basic needs.

We have been funding homelessness organisations for fifteen years, and the sad reality is that it is getting worse, not better. More and more people require help to meet very basic living costs, and often small amounts of funding are all that stands between someone having a home and them ending up homeless. Meanwhile, services are having their funding cut, or left in a constant state of limbo.

StreetSmart has supported Anchor with $15,900 in community grants since 2006 and will be supporting Anchor again this October to try and redress the black hole funding cuts have left in their material aid budget. That means a food voucher for a young family in crisis accommodation or financial assistance to keep up with the cost of private rental.

We support people who are experiencing homelessness to get back on track, including people are rough sleeping. We also do a lot of work with people at risk. Preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place is a key.”

If you want to support Anchor Housing to maintain vital material aid, you can donate to our October StreetFunder here.