In November research showed one in five of those aged 20-24, in Melbourne, were without a job. This was much worse in certain regions, such as the outer western metro, and compounded already underlying high rates of youth unemployment and homelessness. This young cohort lost more full-time jobs than any other age group and the under 35s continue to be the largest cohort people experiencing homelessness.
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.
Recovery Fund – Rebuild. Relief. Restore
StreetSmart has established a brand new ‘Recovery Fund’ to help support smaller homelessness service providers impacted by crises such as COVID-19 and natural disasters. Grants from this fund will help organisations adapt to the challenges they are facing, reinvigorate programs, rethink strategies, and build capacity and resilience. Grants will target organisations with a particular focus on people impacted heavily by the pandemic e.g. youth, women and children experiencing domestic violence, migrant and refugee communities, temporary visa holders, and the unemployed. Grants and resources will also be allocated to supporting charities impacted by the recent floods in New South Wales. Read More
Introducing the evolution of SmartMeals – Meals. Training. Jobs.
All meals will now be made by social enterprises, meaning vital job training, readiness and pathways programs for vulnerable people in a difficult jobs market. Read More
Western Sydney Homeless Connect (WSHC)
“It is important to remember that sleep is involved with many physiologic systems such as memory consolidation, control of inflammation, hormone regulation, cardiovascular regulation and many other important functions. Reduced sleep duration has been shown to cause impairments in cognitive and executive function, while poor sleep has been associated with poor mental health.” Dr. Lourdes DelRosso.
Bolton Clarke staff picnic funded by SmartCare
Frontline homelessness case work is distressing and enormously stressful. Staff burnout happens regularly. Workers often suffer ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of being regularly exposed to distressing material or stories.
That’s why we set up SmartCare. It is an innovative program providing support to our frontline workers. People caring for marginalised and disadvantaged people often don’t take the time or have the necessary tools to look after their own mental and physical wellbeing. In order for charities to retain talented, caring and professional people they need to make sure their staff is supported. So, we stepped in. The StreetSmart community rallied together and donated to enable us to provide 15 grants in November. This meant for the first time in a long while or first time ever, charities could provide team building sessions, self-care initiatives, personal counselling and reward programs.
Here is what it meant to the organisations and their staff…
Staff at South Port Community Group
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.
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