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Homelessness in the news

Poverty and Homelessness – The Reality For Too Many Older Women

By Homelessness in the news, Older women, Projects StreetSmart

Housing for the Aged Action Group

For many years, frontline workers in regional and metro homelessness services have been seeing increasing numbers of older women seeking support. The 2016 census confirmed this, showing older women, over the age of 55, were the fasting growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness increasing by 31% from 2011 – 2016. We know this trend has accelerated and worsened since 2016, with many services reporting women approaching them for support for the first time in their lives, unfortunately many are turned away due to a limited capacity to help.

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StreetSmart delivers $40,000 in grants to support Youth Services

By COVID-19, Homelessness in the news, Recovery Fund
At the same time as youth services have seen a significant rise in demand due to COVID-19, many smaller independent organisations have seen a fall in fundraising revenue as their community fundraising came to a halt.  In line with Youth Homelessness Matters Day in April, the team at StreetSmart raised funds from our supporters to provide funding to youth services and assist young people experiencing the fall out from the pandemic. All six youth programs we supported through our Recovery Fund have seen fundraising income fall over the past 12 months. One organisation lost $1 million of critical fundraising revenue, another had seen revenue drop to $0:

“Our community  fundraising income for the 2020 calendar year was zero, missing our target of $85,000 per annum. Our social enterprise income for the 2020 calendar year was also down 50% on our forecasted income.”

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Recovery Fund grants target homeless flood victims

By Homelessness in the news, Recovery Fund
A few weeks ago, two massive storms converged over eastern Australia dumping more than 40cm of rain in just five days across huge areas along the coastline, and in some cases as much as 80cm. Rivers rose rapidly, some by over 10 metres. Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate, and many people have lost their homes, many have lost everything.

The flooding stretches 600 kilometres from Sydney to the Northern Rivers as Fiona Johnson, a hydrologist from the water research centre at UNSW explained, “It’s just the sheer scale of having it from the border all the way down south of Sydney.” In areas that suffered severe bushfires just 12 months ago, the storms have continued and compounded the devastation.

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The inextricable link between homelessness and poverty

By COVID-19, Homelessness in the news
Centrelink line
Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked.

If we want to end homelessness, we must also end poverty. Two major policy responses to substantially reduce poverty, and homelessness, have been put forward strongly for at least a decade. Both could also have a substantial impact as an economic stimulus as we navigate the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, immediately lift Job Seeker payments permanently and secondly, build more public and social housing. Read More

Pandemic paves the way to solving homelessness

By COVID-19, Homelessness in the news

People facing homelessness leave a shelter for a hotel. (ABC News: Scott Mitchell)

It’s Homelessness Week and we are at a pivotal time for homelessness and housing policy in Australia. What we have seen happen since late March has been nothing but monumental and presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the country’s homelessness system. We need to make sure we continue this revolution for the homelessness sector and not go back to the way it was before the pandemic hit.

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