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

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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COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Supports Healthcare Services

By News, StreetSmart News
Sunny Street
Photo Credit: Sunny Street
This week we have provided three grants totalling $11,000 from our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. We have moved fast to distribute funds to make sure people are getting the support they need. All three grants are supporting the urgent demand for health responses right now for the most vulnerable. StreetMed in Western Sydney, All Round Health in Hobart and Sunny Street on Sunshine Coast specialise in delivering healthcare services all year round to people who are homeless.
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SMARTMEALS – Feeding People Saving Jobs

By News, StreetSmart News

UPDATED 28.04.2020 – 2650 meals for vulnerable people provided

Right now charity meals programs are  shut across the country. With gatherings restricted and older volunteers protecting their health, food security for vulnerable Australians is an emerging challenge. At the same time restaurants and cafes are closing. This is making workers with limited resources, vulnerable to poverty, hunger and homelessness.
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DineSmart Powers COVID-19 Response Grants

By DineSmart, News, StreetSmart News


“I truly believe this grant will be lifesaving…”
Peter Valpiani, The Haymarket Foundation

It seems an entire lifetime ago but back in December and before the January bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, just over 100 restaurants around Australia teamed up with their customers to raise funds for local homeless services. This was our 17th DineSmart campaign and our dedicated band of restaurateurs and their staff drove the event – chatting with customers and advocating for a world without homelessness. Little did they know what lay ahead for them and their businesses, and just how important these funds would be for frontline services dealing with a crisis the likes we haven’t seen in a generation.

Last week 33 community grants worth $191,150, funded by DineSmart 2019 donations, were distributed in VIC, NSW, QLD and SA. Read More

StreetSmart funds emergency relief grants for COVID-19 thanks to 2019 DineSmart

By DineSmart, News, StreetSmart News
Thanks to DineSmart 2019
We have been continually checking in with our community partners throughout this COVID-19 crisis and one thing rings true for every one, they need funding right now. And thanks to the generous support of venues and customers through our 2019 DineSmart campaign we are able to provide immediate grants to help support them through this difficult time.

We will be sharing a lot of the positive impact we’re able to make in the coming days and weeks. Read More