The ACT is bucking a national trend with homelessness reducing in our community, even as our population grows. We are also leading the nation in employment and training outcomes for people accessing homelessness support services.
The ACT Government will extend existing investment for the 28 organisations that make up the ACT Specialist Homelessness Sector, for two years from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2021.
In 2016, the ACT Government committed $63 million for three years investment with provision for a two year extension. This announcement delivers on that funding certainty for the sector to continue to provide critical services which are driving down homelessness. It’s vital to point out that the great work of these organisations relies on funding certainty and this extension provides that.
This extension also aligns with the ACT Housing Strategy launched in October last year. It provides a valuable opportunity for government to work with the sector to build on existing strengths and reshape services where necessary. This commitment will also enable organisations to increase their workforce to better respond to needs as they arise.
A strong and sustainable sector will contribute to the continued improvement of the ACT Governments early intervention homelessness response and providing pathways out of crisis to ensure those most in need can access the support they need, when they need it most.
Some of the services being invested in include:
- Toora Women – Provision of multiple programs to support and accommodate women, with or without accompanying children, who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.
- EveryMan Australia – Provision of multiple early intervention support programs and accommodation to single men who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.
- St Vincent de Paul – Provision of multiple programs including a family program to support families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
- Salvation Army – Provision of a Youth Emergency Accommodation Network including case management and 24/7 crisis support.
- Uniting Care Canberra – Provision of the Early Morning Centre including breakfast meals, support, referral services, lockers, showers and mail facilities for homeless and vulnerable people.
- Australian Red Cross – Provision of The Roadhouse free meal service during the early evening to people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
This commitment builds on the 2018-19 Budget commitment that allocated an additional $6.5 million to address gaps in the ACT homelessness system.