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2nd June 2019     HOMELESSNESS SOARS IN OUR BIGGEST CITIES, DRIVEN BY RISING INEQUALITY SINCE 2001
by The Conversation

Homelessness has increased greatly in Australian capital cities since 2001. Almost two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness are in these cities, with much of the growth associated with severely crowded dwellings and rough sleeping. 

Homelessness in major cities, especially severe crowding, has risen disproportionately in areas with a shortage of affordable private rental housing and higher median rents. Severe crowding is also strongly associated with weak labour markets and poorer areas with a high proportion of males. 

These are some of the key findings of Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) research released on 30 May. 

Click here for a link to the full article.  more

2nd June 2019     CARELESSLY LINKING CRIME TO BEING HOMELESS ADD TO THE HARMFUL STIGMA
by Alison Young and James Petty in The Conversation


The news of Courtney Herron’s death has shocked Melburnians. While full details are yet to emerge, both she and the man charged with murdering her have been widely reported as being homeless. It’s revealing how news media use this information in framing their coverage of what happened. 

Media use of the term “homeless” is rarely neutral. This is not to say someone’s housing status should never be included in reporting such events. However, we should be wary of how media coverage connects homelessness to violent crimes.

When reading about any event involving people experiencing homelessness, we should remember that being homeless involves serious vulnerability. Homelessness is better understood not as a condition itself, but as a manifestation of multiple vulnerabilities: mental illness, chronic ill-health, unemployment, disadvantage, lack of education, histories of trauma or neglect, substance dependence and, always, poverty. This remains the case regardless of whether the person in question is a victim, an offender, or a bystander.

Click here for the full article. more

2nd June 2019     ONE OF THE WORST THINGS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS IS THE SHAME
by Wendy Squires in The Age

Shame is a complex emotion. For most of my life it has prohibited me from revealing an experience that has shaped me in the most profound of ways.

ou see, when I was 17, I became homeless for a period. As in, I lived in a friend’s garage, sneaking in when his parents had parked each night and getting up before they left each day. It meant me hiding my sleeping bag in bushes before heading off to school and relying on the kindness of others for food. It entailed overstaying my welcome at every opportunity, mocking sleep so as not to be moved off a warm couch or sneaking into their rooms when parents had gone to bed, for a safe place to sleep.

And it made me feel like shit, every humiliating second of every day. I felt I was white trash, despite my middle-class upbringing, unlovable and unworthy. And despite getting my life back on track and achieving success later in life, I will always be that scared young girl with knotted hair who brushed her teeth with her finger and bathed with a garden hose, among other indignities I don’t care to share.

So acute are these memories that when I read that yet another young woman, now identified as 25-year-old Courtney Herron, had been found dead in a Melbourne park on the weekend – this one identified as having “no fixed address” – tears came that haven’t really left. I can only imagine how vulnerable, lost and insignificant she must have felt in that dark park ringed by the warm homes of affluent others.

There are 116,427 people homeless in Australia on any given night, according to Mission Australia. This includes 15,872 children under 12. Only 7 per cent of people who are homeless are sleeping on the streets. The rest are hidden away, couch-surfing with friends, moving between emergency shelters and hostels and sleeping in cars and makeshift dwellings. Domestic and family violence is one of the top reasons people end up in this situation.

Courtney Herron's tragic death needs to be mourned as an act of neglect en masse. No young woman, man or child should be sleeping rough and no decent society should be allowing it to happen.

Click here for the full article.
more

2nd June 2019     NOT JUST PERSONAL CHOICES: OLDER WOMEN AND HOMELESSNESS
by Felicity Reynolds in SBS Insight

All Australian States once had a commitment to ensuring that all citizens, regardless of income, had access to adequate affordable housing. The post war housing commission building booms in every State were testament to this commitment.

In recent decades, disinvestment in public housing has seen this option move from a dignified housing opportunity for those on low incomes to a largely unobtainable one. Reduced stock, tighter targeting and long waiting periods are the main culprits.

The current cohort of women aged over 65 grew up in a different Australia. An Australia where single women, even if paid enough, often couldn’t get a home loan. An Australia that until the 1970s insisted some women in some job categories resign their position upon marriage.

There was also no superannuation guarantee. It sounds ridiculous now, but all this (and more) very slowly created a lifetime of discriminatory disadvantage for those women. 

It should be troubling to us all that that too many of the women who cared for their elderly parents, the women who gave birth to the next generation and the women who worked their whole lives until an accident, trauma or illness made them unemployed, are now living ‘on the edge’ and unable to find appropriate permanent affordable housing. 

Click here for the full article.  more

2nd June 2019     ANGLICARE VICTORIA CEO CALLS FOR URGENT NATIONAL HOMELESSNESS SUMMIT IN LIGHT OF RECENT TRAGEDY IN MELBOURNE
by Anglicare

On ABC News Breakfast, Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald appealed to the nation to hold a National Homelessness Summit to address the crisis of housing and homelessness in this country. 

Mr McDonald said: “Aside from the violence in this tragic case concerning Courtney Herron, I think the thing that is shocking the public also is that people are sleeping in parks at such a young age; we’re past crisis point on homelessness in this country for access to social housing. That is why nothing short of a National Homelessness Summit, that brings all tiers of Government together, will be sufficient in solving this issue.

Click here for the full press release.  more

2nd June 2019     COURTNEY HERRON DEATH: VICTORIA GRAPPLES WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION AMONG HOMELESS
by Lisa Martin in The Guardian

As family and friends of Courtney Herron come to grips with her death, Victorian authorities are grappling with how homeless people with drug addictions and mental illness are falling through cracks in the system.

Guardian Australia understands about 10% of the 14,500 Victorians on the state’s methadone program are homeless. 

People need to be on the program for three months before they are eligible for takeaway does of methadone. Storing the dosages safely could be an issue for homeless people because the medication could be stolen and has a high value on the the black market.

The Launch Housing chief executive, Bevan Warner, lamented hundreds of Victorians are being turned away each week because of a shortage of crisis accommodation.

“There are 423 funded crisis accommodation beds in Melbourne and there’s close to 2,000 people sleeping rough,” Warner said. “It’s very hard for someone to recover from an episode of mental ill health ... or to deal with a substance dependency issue if they’re spending most of their waking hours worrying about where they are going to sleep tonight and if they’ll be safe and secure.”

Victoria’s Council to Homeless Persons says there are 82,500 people, including almost 25,000 children, on the public housing waiting list and a shortfall of 102,800 properties.

Click here for the full article more

2nd June 2019     ADVERTISEMENT FOR SINGLE BED IN A HALLWAY SHOWS JUST HOW DIRE AUSTRALIA’S HOUSING CRISIS HAS BECOME
by Cait Kelly in The New Daily

Australia’s housing crisis has again been thrown into the spotlight after an advertisement for a single bed in a hallway was posted on Gumtree.

The post advertised the single bed in a two-bedroom North Hobart house, which is already occupied by a couple and two boys, for $75 a week.

“We are looking for someone who is interested to stay in the hall and a single bed is there for use,” stated the advertisement, which has since been taken down.

Affordable housing advocates have warned that the ad is indicative of a larger housing crisis forcing people to live in overcrowded dwellings.

University of New South Wales’ industrial design program director Dr Christian Tietz said ads for overcrowded houses can be found across Australia.

It’s not just rooms that people are sharing either, Tenants Union of NSW senior policy adviser Leo Patterson Ross said.

“It’s called hot bedding, and you get the bed from 6am to 10pm and then you have to clear out,” he said. “They clean the sheets and then someone else comes in.”

Click here for the full article.  more

2nd June 2019     WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MY YEAR REPORTING ON IT
by Jess Hill in The Guardian

When I started researching domestic violence last year, I thought I basically understood it. Some men, driven to distress by things such as unemployment, substance abuse or mental illness, were unable to control their anger, and took it out on the person they loved the most. We’ve all said and done things we’re not proud of in relationships – I thought domestic violence was just the extreme extension of that.

It took about two weeks for that notion to be demolished. Dozens of conversations with survivors and advocates revealed a very different reality, and understanding it was like being given the key to a secret room. Domestic violence is not driven by anger, first and foremost. It’s driven by a need for – and a sense of entitlement to – power and control.

It doesn’t make sense that even women who are smart and independent will stay with a man who treats them like dirt. It doesn’t make sense that even after fleeing, a woman is likely to return to that man six times on average – “it mustn’t be that bad”, people say. It doesn’t make sense that someone you know to be a good bloke could be going home to hold a knife to his wife’s throat. None of it makes sense.

But the more you learn about the nature of domestic violence, the more sense you can make of it. For me, a big penny-dropping moment was reading Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman’s landmark book on understanding psychological trauma. In it, she equates the experiences of domestic violence victims to those of prisoners of war. In both situations, establishing control over the other person is achieved through the “systematic, repetitive infliction of psychological trauma” designed to instill fear and helplessness.

Click here for the full article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/11/most-people-dont-get-domestic-violence-because-it-doesnt-make-sense more

2nd June 2019     'I'M NOT LIVING, I'M EXISTING': NO EASY FIX FOR ROOMING HOUSES
by Miki Perkins in The Age

Barry’s* life wasn’t always like this. He worked for years in a well-paid role as an account manager with Telstra and had a mortgage on the house where he lived.

But when he was “restructured” out of a job Barry couldn’t meet his mortgage repayments and life has felt like a downhill slide ever since. The bank foreclosed on his house, he moved from one crummy private rental to the next and ended up sleeping on a bench on Swanston Street.

Now Barry's home is a tiny room - one of 14 -  at the rear of a dilapidated weatherboard rooming house in Melbourne's north. His possessions are stacked so high it’s difficult to get through the door. The roof leaks over his bed and the lock is broken.

The house's volatile and intimidating landlord has made Barry’s life a misery - including throwing his possessions into a skip and assaulting him - and for all of this, Barry pays $200 a week in rent.

Three years ago the government introduced minimum standards in rooming houses, including that operators must apply for a licence and follow standards of hygiene, safety and security.

But the reality is that many remain decrepit and hazardous environments that damage the physical and mental health of the residents.

Click here for the full article.  more

2nd June 2019     WINTRINGHAM BUS TOURS
by Wintringham

Wintringham is providng a half day outing with FREE lunch and a recreational activity, including a brief facilitated tour of possible housing options in the area to be visited. Accommodation may be Wintringham housing stock, or other accommodation providers.

The bus tour is targetted to over 50’s, experiencing homelessness/ or risk of homelessness within the City of Melbourne catchment. The idea is to gauge the interest of seniors experiencing homelessness, in housing options outside the CBD and inner city.

The April and May bus tours went very well. See the attached brochure about the June and July bus tours. 

For more information contact: Mary-Jo Anagnos, Housing Support and Outreach Worker on 9375 3774 or at Maryjoanagnos@wintringham.org.au. more

26th May 2019     PETS IN THE PARK CLINICS: FREE VET SUPPORT FOR PETS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS
by Pets in the Park

PITP is a charity run by volunteer vets and nurses. It receives no government funding and relies entirely on community donations to provide assistance to owners and their pets that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Pets in the Park has a new address for 2019 ( for the first three months).
1 Raleigh Street 
Middle Footscray.
The nearest Train Station is Middle Footscray.

The next clinic will be on 26th May 2019.

PITP is a referral only service - in other words PITP is only able to help people who are currently receiving regular assistance from a case worker/support service.  Without a completed Ongoing Referral Form  PITP is unable to provide assistance. Referral Forms will need to be obtained every 6 months to be eligible for long term assistance from PITP.

See attached referral form and below for referral information. Pets in the Park look forward to meeting new pet owners with their furry friends in 2019! 

more

16th May 2019     UPCOMING FIGHTING FAIR TRAINING
by Scott Dutton

MEDIATION & CONFLICT RESOLUTION TRAINING (LEVEL 1)
This interactive and stimulating 2-day course will assist professionals to explore conflict and impart the essential principles and process of mediation....click for more
MELBOURNE: September 10&11, 2019 - Melbourne

DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
This 1-day workshop will assist managers/ workers/ staff to understand and demonstrate the skills, techniques and model in having difficult & necessary conversations....click for more
MELBOURNE: Nov 12, 2019 - Melbourne CBD

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EI) IN THE WORKPLACE
This 1-day workshop will assist managers, team leaders and team members to develop insight and awareness of their own and others’ emotions (behaviours, moods, reactions) to intentionally improve individual, team and organisational outcomes (wellbeing) in the workplace....click for more
MELBOURNE: Nov 13, 2019 - Melbourne CBD

IN HOUSE TRAINING

Please contact us if you are interested in training or workshops for your team or organisation. You are also able to pay this financial year and hold it next financial year. See below for the course titles. More information and a proposal can be sent with the specific content / learning outcomes. 

Click here for more information and to register.  more

16th May 2019     MARAM TRAINING
by Northern Integrated Family Violence Servces

New MARAM Training now Available

Registrations for MARAM modules Leading Alignment and Comprehensive Renewing Practice are now open via https://training.dvrcv.org.au/.

Five new MARAM training modules will become available for professionals from prescribed framework organisations:

Leading Alignment: a one-day module designed to support organisational leaders to manage alignment and staff with new responsibilities under MARAM (registrations open).

Comprehensive Renewing Practice: a one-day module for those who have completed CRAF 3 but need to renew their practice in MARAM (registrations open).

Comprehensive Newer Family Violence Specialist training: A two-day module for the specialist family violence workers who are newer to the field and/ or have not completed CRAF 3 (available in the next month).

Brief and Intermediate: For workers who are not directly focused on responding to family violence, but who engage with people who are at risk of experiencing or using family violence (late 2019).

Risk Identification and Screening: For workers who may identify family violence through one-off, episodic or ongoing service provision (late 2019).

'Brief and Intermediate' and 'Risk Identification and Screening' modules will be rolled out by Victorian government departments to their various staff and funded services later in 2019. more

16th May 2019     NEGATIVE GEARING

Negative gearing is proving to be one of the most debated issues of the election. Here are some recent media articles on the subject:

SBS News: What is negative gearing and if it's scrapped will you pay more rent? 

University of NSW: Changing negative gearing and what it means for renters

more

16th May 2019     CAN THE POPULARITY OF TINY HOMES PROVIDE A SOLUTION FOR OLDER WOMEN FACING HOMELESSNESS?
by Melissa Martin, ABC News

The number of women over the age of 55 experiencing housing stress and homelessness is rising in Australia, but the increasing interest in tiny homes may provide a viable solution for these women.

The quirky, transportable homes have become the darling of the reality TV scene, and social media groups sharing ideas and tips for tiny homes boast tens of thousands of followers.

Now moves are afoot on the NSW mid-north coast to establish a tiny home village, specifically for older women.

Click here for the full article.  more

15th May 2019     FEDERAL ELECTION ANALYSIS
by Shelter

Click here for an election analysis on housing policies:  http://shelter.org.au/site/wp-content/uploads/190409-Federal-Election-Housing-Policy-Guide-v3.pdf more

15th May 2019     QUICK GUIDE TO THE NDIS
by Parliamentary library

Please find attached a quick guide to the NDIS, updated May 2019.  more

15th May 2019     DONATE WARM CLOTHING
by Western Homelessness Networker

A homelessness worker has created a new Facebook page under the name Donate Warm Clothing in order to garner donations of warm clothing to homeless people on the streets of Melbourne this winter.

We accept cleaned and washed blankets,vdoonas, warm clothing for adults and sleeping bags, both new and used of all sizes.

more

15th May 2019     CHANGES TO ALLOCATIONS TO SOUTHBANK AND LAUNCH HOUSING EAST ST KILDA
by Launch Housing

Please find attached communication for homelessness agencies re allocations to Launch Housing Southbank and Launch Housing East St Kilda. more

15th May 2019     THE BRUTAL TRUTH ON HOUSING: SOMEONE HAS TO LOSE IN ORDER FOR FIRST HOME BUYERS TO WIN
by The Conversation

Click here for a link to an article analysing the recent election promises from the Liberal and Labor parties in relation to housing.

The bottom line on housing? Changing rules on negative gearing and capital gains tax is more likely to increase home ownership than guaranteeing part of the deposit.

But no policy proposed in this Commonwealth election affects the really big lever for home ownership: increasing housing supply. more

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