Homelessness Week: Supporting those most in need during COVID

Success of COVID-19 support programs for people facing homelessness key highlight during national Homelessness Week

This year’s Homelessness Week is a chance to acknowledge the collaborative work between the ACT Government and specialist homelessness sector who have supported those most in need, during what has been an incredibly difficult year.

In response to COVID-19, the ACT Government announced a $3 million funding package to support Canberrans and their families who may be experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or experiencing domestic and family violence.

As a result of this funding, the government and sector have been able to establish and expand programs such as the Winter Lodge, Axial Housing Program and MacKillop House, that provide accommodation and support services for men, women (with or without children) and families.

As at the fortnight ending 19 July 2020:

  • 25 women (with and without children) have been accommodated at MacKillop House since opening on 2 June 2020
  • 22 clients have been permanently housed through the Axial Housing Program
  • 79 men have been accommodated at the Winter Lodge since opening on 11 May 2020. Of these men, 25 have exited into longer term accommodation and 9 are currently residing at the Winter Lodge, and
  • 38 clients have been supported by the OneLink Client Support Fund since it commenced on 11 May 2020.

These new programs not only provide housing options, but offer the necessary supports needed to build skills in maintaining independent living, such as mental health services, drug and alcohol supports, as well as financial and domestic violence counselling.

The ACT Government is committed to addressing homelessness and continues to work closely with the specialist homelessness sector to identify and establish programs that provide secure, long-term accommodation for families and individuals.

Homelessness Week runs from 2 – 7 August 2020 and is an annual event that raises awareness of homelessness in Australia.

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