Safe and Secure housing is a Human Right and in 2016, the Australian government endorsed The New Urban Agenda, committing to the progressive realisation of adequate housing for all. Australia is also bound by the ICESCR, which states in Article 11 that parties “recognise the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for themself and their family, including adequate food, clothing and housing.”
At StreetSmart our team supports all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and believes in the power of community to make the goals a reality. We are playing our part in creating the world we want to live in. We want to use our work and our influence to advance human rights, protect the environment, uphold labour standards, end corruption and be a force for good. Importantly our grant making directly contributes to the aims of thirteen of the SDGs.
The goals were the result of worldwide consultation with over 8 million people, and they recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
We believe that responsible business and investment will be essential to achieving transformational change through the SDGs. We will seek to support and partner with organisations, businesses and stakeholders who have this shared vision and similar goals.
Our work at StreetSmart contributes to the realisation of 13 of the UN SDG Goals.
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
StreetSmart is an ally of and advocate for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Australia and the local organisations that work to support them. We recognise that poverty is a leading contributor to homelessness and fund numerous programs that support people experiencing poverty, including emergency aid programs and call for real policy and funding action at the national and local level to end poverty in Australia.
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
People experiencing poverty and homelessness experience hunger and food insecurity. We fund numerous food programs including community meals and food pantries and our SmartMeals Program tackles food insecurity through funding the making of community meals by local social enterprise businesses. Read more about SmartMeals impact here.
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.
Homelessness is a health crisis. People who experience homelessness in Australia have significantly reduced life expectancy. We fund numerous programs aimed at good health and well-being, such as providing safe and secure housing, nutritious food, material aid, mental health and addiction services, as well as medical street outreach teams. StreetSmart also took an active role in funding important services through the COVID-19 pandemic – read more here
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities.
Marginalised communities struggle to access and benefit from conventional education and training opportunities. StreetSmart funds educational support programs and social enterprises that take on the role of providing job readiness training.
To date in 2022, StreetSmart has distributed $120,000 in grants to local organisations supporting young people and their families to access quality education and training.
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
StreetSmart recognises that different genders experience homelessness differently. For example, domestic violence against women and children is the greatest single contributing factor to homelessness. LGBTQ people are at least twice as likely to find themselves without a home. Also, as the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness, StreetSmart distributed $25,000 in 2021 to grassroot services supporting older women.
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation of water for all.
We acknowledge that for people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, hygiene, sanitation, and access to clean water is difficult but crucial. StreetSmart has supported numerous medical outreach and sanitation projects that target people sleeping rough and their access to showers, clean water, and laundry facilities.
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
StreetSmart recognises the important role social enterprises play in a dynamic and modern economy, funding numerous startups to thrive and take on the role of training and educating marginalised workers. Through our SmartMeals program, social enterprises and hospitality businesses were supported to keep staff and volunteers continuously employed and in training through the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about the enterprises supported here.
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
At StreetSmart we believe safe, secure and affordable housing is essential infrastructure. We have supported numerous programs that build housing, convert buildings for accommodation and update and upgrade housing facilities such as adding air conditioning, bathrooms and modernise kitchens etc. StreetSmart also takes an active role in seed funding innovative, new, ideas, approaches and organisations.
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Our funding support to local homelessness organisations reflects the vulnerability of certain communities experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. For example our partners work with at-risk youth and CALD communities.
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
StreetSmart believes that everyone should have access to safe, secure and affordable housing. Most of the programs we fund are working towards inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable communities. SleepSafe is just one of the supported programs that provides support to refuges and accommodation services for people experiencing homelessness.
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Our work contributes to the circular economy by breaking destructive patterns of material and food waste. We fund programs that use recycling, up-cycling, and reusing, to bring about social impact and change to their communities. Grants to food rescue partners like Second Bite and Fareshare, as well as the funding of material aid programs like St Kilda Mums are examples of this.
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Our support for numerous community legal services contributes to developing an inclusive society and access to justice for all. Programs include assisting people to maintain or start tenancies, and supporting young people through the justice system or leaving care.
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
StreetSmart believes in and promotes a whole-of-community approach to ending homelessness and ensuring safe, secure housing for all. We work with over 900 not for profit partners across Australia who are connected to their communities’ needs, to build local capacity and collaboration.
The team at StreetSmart believe we have a global climate emergency. We believe everyone and every organisation has a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of their work and actions. As a small NGO we will take action to minimise our environmental impact, reduce our carbon footprint and will also look to assist other organisations to adapt to this reality.
Further Resources you may find useful:
United Nations Human Settlement Programme – Homelessness and the SDG’s