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If you would like to have a document added, please email it to the Western Homelessness Networker:  sarah@wombat.org.au

Outcomes of the Inner City Youth At-Risk Project: July 2010 – June 2012.
13th February 2013
  by Christine Eastman and Kylie Valentine, SPRC

The ICYAR Project is part of the National Partnership on Homelessness NSW Implementation Plan and the NSW Homelessness Action Plan 2009-2014 and builds upon the successful Kings Cross Youth at Risk Project.

The Vancouver At Home Study: Overview and methods of a Housing First trial
13th February 2013
  by Denise M Zabkiewicz, Michelle Patterson, James Frankish and Julian M Somers

Given high rates of mental illness among homeless individuals and the inadequacy of services, there is a growing need for effective approaches that integrate housing with intensive treatment and supports.

Obtaining a better understanding of how supported housing and services influence the health and well-being of homeless individuals is critical for the development of long-term, community-based solutions, and effective health and social policy.

In an effort to address these issues, Canada’s federal government allocated $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to conduct a national demonstration project to identify the best housing and support services for individuals who are homeless and living with mental illness.

This project, entitled “At Home/Chez Soi”, is being conducted in 5 sites across Canada including: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The FOR-HOME study: Moves to independent living Single homeless people’s experiences and outcomes
13th February 2013
  by Maureen Crane, Tony Warnes and Sarah Coward - The University of Sheffield

This report describes the main findings of the FOR-HOME study of the resettlement of 400 single homeless people from hostels and other temporary accommodation into independent tenancies in London, Leeds, Nottinghamshire and Sheffield.

The aims were to collect information over 18-months about the experiences of homeless people who are rehoused and the factors that influence the outcomes; and to produce policy and practice recommendations.

Respondent characteristics

There were 296 men and 104 women in the study. They were interviewed before they moved; after 6-months; and again at 15-18 months. One-quarter were under the age of 25 years, 38% aged 25-39 years, and 37% aged 40+ years. Three-fifths were White British / Irish.
The respondents’ histories were characterised by high rates of personal problems and disadvantage. Thirty-nine per cent had left school before 16 years of age, 18% had literacy problems, and 22% had been in care as a child. In the five years before being resettled, 63% had experienced mental health problems, 33% alcohol problems, and 57% drug problems.
One-quarter had been homeless for more than five years when resettled.

Download here (1070kb)
Social Housing Initiative Review
13th February 2013
  by KPMG

The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, has released a report on the Social Housing Initiative Review. The report, provided by KPMG, found it is well-administered, value for money and has achieved excellent outcomes for vulnerable Australians, the social housing sector, the construction industry, and the wider economy.

Download here (1791kb)
The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy. (USA)
13th February 2013
  by University of Pennsylvania

Homelessness in its contemporary form has been an issue since the early 1980s when, cast against a backdrop of a recession, the U.S. public became aware of a “new” homeless population comprised mainly of young and minority adults.

An unprecedented number of these persons were homeless with families, but even those who were homeless individually were distinctly different demographically from their aging, mainly white “skid row” forbears (Baxter & Hopper, 1981; Lee, 1980). Three decades later, despite the volumes of research on homelessness, little of it has assessed how the characteristics of this population have changed over time.

In this study, it is hypothesize that contemporary homelessness is a birth cohort phenomenon linked to the coming of age of the baby boom generation—an inquiry that is overdue given the length of time that contemporary homelessness has been an issue.

Link to document: http://www.homelesshub.ca/Resource/Frame.aspx?url=http%3a%2f%2fworks.bepress.com%2fcgi%2fviewcontent.cgi%3farticle%3d1147%26context%3ddennis_culhane&id=55455&title=The+Age+Structure+of+Contemporary+Ho

Meeting Australia's Housing Challenges: National Shelter policy platform
7th February 2013
  by National Shelter

‘Meeting housing challenges’, National Shelter have identified a range of solutions to tackle the four key housing challenges facing low-income Australians.

FACT SHEET: Social and community services pay equity implementation
4th February 2013
  by The Victorian Government

The purpose of this document is to provide you with:

  • an overview of the equal remuneration decision handed down by Fair Work Australia
  • information about how your funding supplementation was calculated
  • details about what to do if you have any questions.

Addressing homelessness amongst persons with a disability: Identifying and enacting best practice.
4th February 2013
  by The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide, Hanover, Melbourne Citymission and the University of Melbourne have released research showing that people with a disability have a greater exposure to the risk of homelessness than the general population.

The research also found that people with different disabilities are exposed to different levels of homelessness risk and receive different types of housing support. The study highlights a number of policy and practice development considerations for responding to homelessness amongst people with a disability.

Download here (1008kb)
Homelesness Australia poster
4th February 2013
  by Homelessness Australia

Following the release of the 2011 ABS Census estimates and data from the AIHW SHS 2011-12, Homelessness Australia has created an infographic on homelessness in Australia.

Print out a copy and put it in your waiting area, put it on your website and take it to your meetings for easy reference.

PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT ON GOVERNMENT SERVICES 2013
1st February 2013
  by Australian Government

The Productivity Commission’s report on Government Services 2013, is now available. Refer to Chapter 17 for Homelessness and 16 for Housing services.

Link to document: http://www.pc.gov.au/gsp/rogs/2013

What influences the outcomes of affordable housing projects?
31st January 2013
  by AHURI

The main challenge facing affordable housing developers in the not-for-profit sector is the management of trade-offs between social outcomes, environmental sustainability and financial viability. This study examined how affordable housing projects are planned, designed, financed and managed over the long-term.

VCOSS Ideas Paper on service sector reform in Victoria - December 2012
31st January 2013
  by VCOSS

Changing the way we work for the better of all Victorians

This Ideas Paper has been developed by the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) to shape discussions within government and across community sector organisations on how we can work together more effectively to support better outcomes for those who we work with.

The paper points to the broad issues, concerns and outcomes we believe should be addressed through the Victorian Government’s Service Sector Reform Project.

Link to document: http://vcoss.org.au/documents/2013/01/VCOSS_Ideas_Paper_-_Service_sector_reform_Final_Dec-2012.pdf

Disability & Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative (DFVCRI) Guidelines
14th January 2013

The purpose of the Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative guidelines is to support both the family violence sector and the disability sector to work collaboratively to improve outcomes for women (or children) with a disability experiencing family violence. Both the family violence sector and disability services have a responsibility in supporting women (or children) with a disability experiencing family violence. The guidelines have been developed by disability services in partnership with family violence sector representatives and Women with Disabilities Victoria.

Joint submissions to the Coroner by Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic and Tenants Union of Victoria
24th December 2012
  by Public Interest Law Clearing House Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic and the Tenants Union of Victoria

Coroner White is currently investigating the tragic death of three Indian students who died on 3 January 2008 in a house fire in Footscray. In a joint submission, the HPLC and TUV called on the Coroner to make recommendations that could prevent similar tragedies taking place in future.

No. 196: Home and safe?
19th December 2012
  by Angela Spinney - AHURI

Policy and practice innovations to prevent women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence from becoming homeless.

This report sets out the findings of a research project investigating the opportunities and challenges of preventing women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence from becoming homeless.

This is the second and Final Report from AHURI Research Project 50602– Homelessness prevention for women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence: innovations in policy and practice. The aim is to explore the value and implementation challenges of innovative staying at home homelessness prevention measures, such as Staying Home Leaving Violence schemes in Australia and Sanctuary Schemes in England.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50602

Specialist Homelessness Services 2011-12
18th December 2012
  by AIHW

In 2011-12, specialist homelessness services assisted almost 230,000 clients, representing 1 in 98 Australians. Of these clients, 56% were at risk of homelessness, 44% were already homeless and 11% were sleeping without shelter or in improvised or inadequate shelter when they first began receiving support. Agencies provided more than 7,000,000 nights of accommodation in 2011-12 and assisted 84% of clients at risk of homelessness to sustain their tenancy. This report presents the findings of the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection for 2011-12, and describes the clients of specialist homelessness agencies, the assistance they sought and were provided, and outcomes achieved for clients.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542549

Making it Home: Refugee Housing in Melbourne’s West. 2012
18th December 2012
  by Laura Berta, Footscray Community Legal Centre

This report presents findings from Footscray Community Legal Centre’s (“FCLC”) Refugee Tenancy and Housing Project (“the Project”). The Project was developed in response to the need for tenancy advocacy services in Melbourne’s western suburbs and in recognition of the major barrier that housing difficulties pose to successful refugee settlement. The Project encompassed the following:

  • A legal tenancy clinic providing free advice and representation to people of refugee background living in the western suburbs of Melbourne
  • Community legal education, and
  • Community development initiatives.

These three activities form core aspects of the work of Community Legal Centres. FCLC tailored the services delivered through the Project to the needs of refugee communities in order to systematically observe and document the major legal and non-legal issues facing refugees in the housing market.

Link to document: http://www.footscrayclc.org.au/images/stories/Tenancy_Report.pdf

Disability & Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative (DFVCRI) Information Sheet
14th December 2012

The Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative is a 12 month statewide pilot project that aims to assist women with a disability experiencing family violence.1 Women and their childrenmay require immediate disability support to access a family violence crisis accommodation response while exploring longer term housing and support options or require immediate disability support to remain safe in their own home. Short-term funds can be provided for up to 12 weeks to a maximum of $9,000 per person while the woman works with her Family Violence Worker to develop a longer termplan.

Good practice - working together to support children and young people experiencing family violence
13th December 2012
  by Victorian Government - Department of Human Services

A key feature of the policy reforms for both the Victorian child and family services sector and the family violence sector has been the establishment of multi-service approaches that work together to more effectively meet the needs of children and young people.

This publication draws together a collection of case studies that highlight how practitioners from child protection, Child FIRST, Integrated family services and family violence services can effectively work together to improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing family violence.

Link to document: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/reports-publications/good-practice-working-together-to-support-children-and-young-people-experiencing-family-violence

Council debt collection: alternatives to suing ratepayers in hardship
6th December 2012
  by Footscray Community Legal Centre

This report argues that Victorian local councils are rushing unfairly to legal action to recover unpaid rates, despite legal protections guaranteeing rates revenue, the existence of effective alternative payment strategies, and the severe impact of legal action on disadvantaged ratepayers.

Link to document: http://apo.org.au/research/council-debt-collection-alternatives-suing-ratepayers-hardship

Housing assistance in Australia 2012
5th December 2012
  by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report looks at housing assistance in the government, not-for-profit and private sector segments in Australia in 2011-12. It examines allocation and waiting lists for social housing, overcrowding and housing affordability, and demonstrates that while the number of social housing dwellings has increased in recent years, this increase has been exceeded by the number of households spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Between 59% and 75% of all housing allocations are provided to people who are homeless, whose life or safety is at risk in their accommodation, whose condition is aggravated by their housing, or who has very high rental costs.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542296

Effective interventions for working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
4th December 2012
  by Thomson,L., McArthur, M., Humphries,P., & Barker, J.,

This literature review was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The aim of the review is to assess the current state of evidence about what interventions are most effective in working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Link to document: http://apo.org.au/research/effective-interventions-working-young-people-who-are-homeless-or-risk-homelessness

Fitzroy and Richmond housing estates development
27th November 2012
  by Yarra City Council

The Office of Housing is preparing a Master Plan to guide the renewal of the Richmond and Atherton Gardens (Fitzroy) Housing Estates. The City of Yarra commissioned a program of research to explore how the local community would like to see the estates developed.

The outcomes of the research are intended to inform Council’s submissions to the Master Plans and other representations made to the Victorian Government and its agencies. In each location the research involved three (3) focus groups and 100 door-to-door surveys. The fieldwork was conducted between 15 August 2012 and 11 September 2012 and captured a range of views from estate residents and those living in the surrounding areas.

Link to document: http://apo.org.au/research/fitzroy-and-richmond-housing-estates-development

Responding to Diversity and Equity
22nd November 2012
  by Michelle Burrell - VEO&HREOC

The following was a presentation made by Michelle Burrell from VEO&HREOC at the 2012 Yarra HACC and Homelessness Forum

Community engagement, advocacy and ending homelessness
22nd November 2012
  by Daniel Scoullar - HomeGround Services

The following was a presentation made by Daniel Scoullar at the 2012 Yarra HACC and Homelessness Forum

Download here (2087kb)
Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system
21st November 2012
  by AIHW

Although only about 5% of young Australians are Indigenous, almost 2 in 5 (39%) of those under juvenile justice supervision on an average day in 2010-11 were Indigenous. There were 2,820 Indigenous young people under supervision on an average day and 5,195 during the year. Indigenous young people first entered supervision at younger ages than non-Indigenous young people, on average, and spent longer under supervision during the year.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542246

Issue 156: How does the concept of social inclusion play a role in housing policy?
15th November 2012
  by AHURI

This project focused on housing in affecting social inclusion/exclusion. It reinforced the notion that exclusion is much more than simply loss of housing through homelessness. People can be socially excluded through having their options limited to poor quality and insecure accommodation in unsafe neighbourhoods, with few job prospects and inadequate services. Two particular types of social exclusion (using a categorization developed in the UK) were found to be relevant to this study: deep social exclusion (for people who experience multiple or cumulative disadvantage, such as many who are homeless); and concentrated exclusion (where disadvantages might be found in particular groups or locations).

The concepts of social inclusion need to be incorporated in policy evaluation frameworks for it to be of consequence to policy-makers. Evaluators need to consider the objectives of the intervention, collect baseline data, and analyse how interventions lead to changed outcomes.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50566/

Protecting children changing lives: a new way of working
11th November 2012
  by Victorian Government - Department of Human Services

A new child protection operating model commenced on Monday, 5 November 2012, which represents the most significant reform to the child protection workforce in more than three decades.

The new child protection operating model is the culmination of extensive consultation with child protection practitioners about how the system could be better designed to improve staff retention, professionalise the workforce and to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families. This feedback was documented in June 2011 with the release of Child protection workforce: the case for change. A new operating model was proposed in July 2011 in Protecting children, changing lives, which received further feedback from over 500 child protection practitioners.

Improved career pathways, greater support and professional development opportunities, and more experienced senior staff working directly with children and families underpin the new operating model. The establishment of a new practice stream will also lead to a stronger quality of case practice, which will lead to better outcomes for the vulnerable children, young people and families that come into contact with child protection.

The new model, as identified in Protecting children, changing lives: a new way of working (November 2012), targets four key areas for action:
•Valuing the work, developing the professional
•More support for, and supervision of frontline practitioners
•More practitioners, with more experience, working directly with families
•Reducing the statutory and administrative burden.

The commencement of the new operating model represents another significant step forward in achieving major reform of the Victorian child protection system aimed to help us to better protect and support vulnerable children.

Human Rights and Domestic Violence - WORKPLACE- Fact Sheets
9th November 2012
  by Human Rights Law Centre

Domestic violence is a violation of women’s human rights and governments have an obligation to take reasonable and effective measures to prevent, investigate, punish and redress domestic violence. Human rights arguments and domestic and international complaints mechanisms can be used to advocate for individual women and to support arguments for changes to law, policy and practice.

Download here (1531kb)
Mental health, concurrent disorders, and health care utilization in homeless women, 2012
7th November 2012
  by Strehlau, V., Torchalla, I., Kathy, L., Schuetz, C., & Krausz, M.

This study assessed lifetime and current prevalence rates of mental disorders and concurrent mental and substance use disorders in a sample of homeless women. Current suicide risk and recent health service utilization were also examined in order to understand the complex mental health issues of this population and to inform the development of new treatment strategies that better meet their specific needs.

Conclusion. Prevalence rates of mental disorders among homeless participants were substantially higher than among women from the general Canadian population. The percentage of participants with moderate or high suicide risk and concurrent disorders indicates a high severity of mental health symptomatology. Treatment and housing programs need to be accompanied by multidisciplinary, specialized interventions that account for high rates of complex mental health conditions.

Link to document: http://www.homelesshub.ca/Library/View.aspx?id=55118

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