COVID-19 UPDATE: Click here for StreetSmart Australia’s response

SmartCare Provides First Wellbeing Grants for Essential, Frontline Staff

By COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, Projects StreetSmart, SmartCare
Staff at South Port Community Group

Staff at South Port Community Group

The workload on our frontline essential workers has been relentless over the past 7 months.  They are the carers that have kept vulnerable people safe, yet they are often people who do not prioritise their own wellbeing. That’s where we have stepped in with an innovative new program. SmartCare raises funds and awareness for staff wellbeing programs.

We are excited to announce that just two months after launching SmartCare we have just made our first round of SmartCare Grants across five states. Fifteen organisations were funded with $47,000 worth of grants, impacting an estimated 540 staff.

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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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StreetSmart Helps FareShare Provide Food Relief and Employment

By COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, DineSmart, Grant Impact, News
William and Lorena working at Fare Share

Visa holders William and Lorena working at FareShare

In March, as COVID-19 hit, we saw food relief programs, community kitchens and soup vans ceasing to operate. Anxiety about the virus, social distancing recommendations and a dependence on vulnerable older volunteers meant quick closures.  This left vulnerable people without their usual support and social connections. We also heard from our hospitality partners that they had been hit hard and many vulnerable staff were likely to suffer dis-proportionally.

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The devastating effect of COVID-19 on food security

By News, SmartMeals, StreetSmart News
Communify SmartMeals

Back in March as the COVID-19 crisis loomed we reached out to our community partners to listen to their concerns and gauge how to support them best. Nearly all confirmed that food security was a major problem for their homeless and disadvantaged clients. As soon as lock down was announced charity meals programs shut due to social distancing regulations and older volunteers protecting their health. Our response to this urgent food security challenge was to make a number of food relief related grants including supporting FareShare, a long term partner, and we also moved quickly to establish the SmartMeals program.

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Youth Homelessness in the age of COVID-19

By StreetSmart News, StreetSmart Projects
Foyer Shepparton group
Photo Credit: Foyer Shepparton
Young people in their teens and twenties maybe less likely to contract or be at risk from COVID-19, but many will be affected by the societal and financial fall out for years to come. This pandemic has and will have a dramatic impact on young people’s lives, that why this week we made four grants to youth based organisations from our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Read More

Domestic and Family Violence Spikes During Lockdown

By StreetSmart News
May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention month

There is often a misconception that homelessness only affects people sleeping rough on the streets. Where in reality this only represents a small number of people living without a safe place to sleep. A significant number of the community partners we support provide services for victims of domestic violence. Women and children fleeing dangerous circumstances may have to leave without any belongings and need immediate care. And the current pandemic is placing even more strain on already stretched services.

“Unfortunately, family violence is more prevalent during and after times of disaster such as bushfires and COVID-19. As a result, we are expecting to see an increase in the number of women and children seeking our service and needing safe accommodation,” said Emma, Family Violence Support Worker, Women’s Liberation Halfway House.

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