Marketing the Homeless - 101


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works in 2003/4 assessing and developing mechanisms to increase social sustainability within this sector, migrating from the existing frameworks that more-often have difficulty migrating individuals towards socially beneficial roles.

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Marketing the Homeless - 101

  1. 1. Marketing the Homeless - 101. “Charity Starts at home” Source: A social worker and good friends mother, who has helped me immeasurable throughout my later teenage years. quot;A stigma indicates to your community that you are no longer an ordinary human being - you are a human being to be avoided... and that's painful.quot; Nelson Mandella 2003 Source: Some of the Opportunities - Develop solutions to help the world, by starting with the issues that affects our homes and families. - Developing Strategies and business systems that can cause local global affects both socially and economically. - Define methodologies to re-capture the lost value held in our socially disadvantaged - Develop Mutually beneficial support structures, that will educate the majority on human resource management, whilst focusing the homeless on how move on to a “If a homeless person has a funny sign, he hasn’t socially beneficial lifestyle been homeless that long. A real homeless - To make a long term difference, to person is too hungry to be funny.” the lives and the structure of our (“1st world”) sociological Source Image and song verse: Chris Rock – No Sex in environment. the Champaign room Key Assumptions - There are two separated Demographics that need to be treated under the topic of “homelessness”. Such terms could be referred to as “Houselessness” and “Homelessness”. Houselessness o Houselessness - an inadequate experience of shelter, ranging from a complete lack of shelter at one end of the continuum to severely inadequate housing conditions at the other. Homelessness o Homelessness - Hospital and Community Psychiatry, J. Grunberg and P. F. Eagle included the concept of disaffiliation in their definition. They wrote that loss of family and community bonds is central to homelessness Homelessness carries implications of belonging nowhere rather than simply having nowhere to sleep. Homelessness is a condition of detachment from society characterised by the absence or attenuation of the affiliative bonds that link settled persons to a network of interconnected social structures (Caplow, Bahr and Sternberg, 1968: 494). Homelessness is not a purely housing based concept but has significant emotional, social and psychological dimensions (Somerville, 1992) Homelessness - an inadequate experience of connectedness with family and or community. Source: - The Demographic for Youth Homelessness often starts in the family home, sometimes many years prior to any real homelessness figures - Homelessness is often a symptom to dysfunctional families due to; o Divorce
  2. 2. A Death in the immediate Family o Drug Use o Mental health / Psychiatric Illness of family member/s o Demanding professional requirements o The Families financial needs Vs. The Families interpersonal needs o Lack of communication skills The Census statistics - Nationally, the number officially homeless fell from 105,304 to 99,900 between 1996 o and 2001, but only because of a change of definition excluded 8000 Aboriginal houses that had been previously defined as ``improvised dwellings''. (Source: Publication: The Age, 19- 11-2003, Edition: Late Page no: 4) Change of 5500 people in the last 5-8 years... making homelessness a census statistic of 1 in 200 people capture by the census are homeless. • Imagine it… (person on the street, begging for food, or enough money to get some smack... Hassles the public walking down the street) “Hey man, I really need a pen to fill out my census form…” o I feel assured that there are more Homeless and Houseless people in Australia, than a census Why? • The Census captures data from replied census forms • Many or Most Houseless and many Homeless people; o Would not receive a Census form. o May not know about the Census, or forget about it on the night o May be abusing drug or suffering from mental disabilities and would not take part in a census o May feel neglected by society, and may choose not to take part o May not have the skills to write out a census form - There are few statistics on deaths related to homelessness (as a whole) including; o Drug Use o Suicide o Mental health - The Australian Climate, unlike that of many other countries does not reach extremely cold temperatures. Although it can be vary cold, it is not a similar environment to that of some parts of America, England and other countries where the Houseless often Freeze to death. - Who is truly independent? o When and if you think about it, how would you grow mentally and socially without the group support of family and close friends who continually offer support to help the positive components of your behaviour grow and develop throughout your young pre- independent / adult years? Web Links 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What are some real - key personal growth requirements of a houseless person? Houseless & Homeless Co-Operative “When you end up on the street, no matter what the cause how can you move forward in a sustainable way?” 1. Find Suitable Accommodation a. Personal Safety b. Comfort
  3. 3. c. Stable 2. Organise “non-accommodation” Basic Needs a. Allowances (Social Security) i. Clothing ii. Food b. Stable Interpersonal Support structure / Development i. Case Manager ii. Personal Mentors iii. Professional Mentors iv. Social Networking 1. Common Age Groups 2. Common issues c. Mental Health & Lifestyle analysis i. Dealing with Drug use ii. Dealing with possible Health issues including 1. Physical disabilities 2. Mental Disabilities 3. Immediate Physical health Requirements 4. Immediate Mental Health Requirements d. Educational Background i. Requirement Analysis for entering “common” workplace ii. Fostering educational Growth Homelessness – the journey to self sustainability “How can this be furthered to support the ex-houseless, become self sustainable” The link between Youth Homelessness, Mental Health & Death. The Key area’s I would expect to be associated this would include suicide, Drug Use and Depression. Other areas would include, - Property theft - Car Accidents - Weapons (Knifes, machetes, Guns as well as anything from bats to throwing alarm clocks) - Dysfunction at school - Poor Family Environment (Lack of emotional support, usually not financial) - Sexual Assault - Sexual Activity (consentural or otherwise) (10 y/old - 14 y/old) - Death of parent or sibling (parent still learning how to cope with post crisis situation) Total Spend on this industry? - Are we dealing with the causes of lack of financial muscle - Are we dealing with processes that need to be refined to better manage current funds? 1. Likely Personal Behavioural Traits – The Mental Scars a. Due to personal instability, many homeless/ houseless people have interpersonal difficulty with aggressive and anti-social behaviour, due to their personal knowledge of dealing with extreme situations. 1. This can be related to the behaviour of an ex-miliary officer who has been in war and their behavioural change post-experience.
  4. 4. 2. The Bulk of societies have stable and blindly supportive family environments. Such family members are much more likely to behave badly (without necessity) due to the knowledge of support at home. a. Homeless/ Houseless people do not have this luxury b. Homeless / Houseless people must learn to relay upon themselves. c. The Relationships Homeless / Houseless people make will never compare to the relationship with Direct (“child conditioning”) family. 2. Likely Health Concerns a. The Aftermath - Cross Section Issues i. Teeth 1. Bad Teeth, Bad food digestion. Develops further health problems ii. Bad diet iii. Extreme drug use 1. Long-Term Mental Dysfunction 2. Long-Term Organ Damage a. Brain b. Heart c. Liver d. Kidneys iv. b. 3. Recognition of prior learning a. Non-Institutional Educational / skills analysis i. It would be common that homeless/ houseless people are forced to learn skills and professional practices without the prescription of a “institutionalised enclosure” or the allocation of a certificate of recognition 4. Supportive Social Structures a. Who can you talk to i. Honestly ii. Topics 1. Emotional 2. Real 3. Employment Related 4. b. To Combat the Feeling of hopelessness c. To combat the perceived need to fight physically d. To learn how to trust people A Letter from a Senior executive in the Field “You could talk about the causes, which can be things like families in crisis and the focus on intervention when its to late instead of greater support for families undergoing stress, the effect of centrelink breaches and debts on your ability to pay rent regularly, substance abuse and mental illness, both as a cause and effect of homelessness, lack of permanent, full time jobs, the trend towards casualisation of the workforce leading to financial uncertainty, You could also talk about the fact that being homeless doesn't always mean that you are 'roughing it' but, rather that you have no base to call your own, you don't always get centre link letters, you get breached and so on. You could mention that there needs to be a multidisciplinary approach, involving team of allied workers to deal with what are often multidimensional challenges the person is dealing with to stop the cycle. More low cost, almost 'student style' accommodation should be supported. In Australia there are about 100,000 documented homeless. This is a disgrace in an advanced country.
  5. 5. Hope it goes well, remember to have an introduction, who you are, what you’re talking about and present your points in a logical order and sum up with at least a thank you.” Source: Cannot prefer not to be disclosed… ABC - Denton Homeless people We all know a homeless person when we see one, right, they're that wino passed out in the doorway, or the person with their head down, sitting on the street corner begging for money. We all know who they are or do we? My next three guests are homeless people dealt tough hands by life and playing them as best they can. They’re here to tell us about those experiences, to give us a glimpse into a world within our world, a life that many of us quite literally walk over in the street, ladies and gentlemen, Damo, Eleanor and Peachie. Andrew Denton: Damo, ask most people and they'll tell you a homeless person is a wino that hasn't had a bath for three years. Who are the homeless and how would I tell a homeless person? Damo: Oh I don't think you'd have much of a chance of, of kicking one really because you know, you have people that do the the circuit of the rooming houses and you know there is the, the quintessential bum on the street. And also you know there's, there's homeless families out there that you wouldn't see unless you know are creeping the soup kitchens of a night time and stuff like that, you know like whole familles come in. And there's you know it, it's a big cross-section. You know I, I always say if you can't walk around in your kitchen half naked cooking dinner or something like that, well you really haven't got a home. You know if you're sharing with fifteen other blokes in a, in a rooming house and you know you really haven't got any privrcy. You've always got someone knocking on your door for a cigarette or you know. So there's various ways of being homeless I guess. Yeah, and that's just a few of them. Andrew Denton: Can I congratulate you on being the first person on this show to ever use the phrase 'the quintessential bum in the street'. Well done. It's good to hear it. Peachie, homelessness is, is more than just being on the streets, isn't it? Peachie: Oh yeah definitely. I've, cause I've been homeless since I was a little kid and I've, I've lived in a lot of places, but like I'm in the place I'm living at now it's, it's an alright house, but I live with 2 other people Andrew Denton: Let's see how the three of you got to being homeless. I'll start with you Damo, you, you actually grew up in Brighton, a middle class upbringing, you had a some landscaping skills, and then when you were 28 your mum died and gave you an inheritance of 60,000 bucks, what did you do with it? Damo: Yes, well ah I started off with all the good intentions and I went on a little surfing trip myself and I got back from there and I met a girl, and she happened to be a heroin addict and like I say she showed me everything I needed to know about it, and I wasn't really feeling that good about myself and not having my mother, I was a real mummy's boy you know, I can, I enjoyed her company, and so when she died I was pretty shattered, and I fell off the rails very quickly and like I said, I met this heroin addict and started using it myself. Andrew Denton: Well you spent the better part of the next decade using heroin and low end crime. Damo: Yes. Andrew Denton: Was there a point where you realised that you were homeless, a homeless person? Damo: Oh I guess sleeping on the Frankston line up and down on the trains of a night time, I guess you'd feel pretty homeless then. And that was, that was like the worst situation. I've never slept under a bridge or stuff like that but yeah I didn't, I didn't know where my next meal or my next bed was coming for, but you know thank god for, there's a lot of charities out there that do good work in feeding us people I guess. Andrew Denton: You ended up in in Long Bay Prison in Sydney on a murder charge, how did that happen?
  6. 6. Damo: Well like I was just a classic wrong place at the wrong time and, oh it was a very scary thing to see. I, I witnessed the whole thing and because I'd had a fallout with this person before they got stabbed, you know just about the whole rooming house got locked at once, but 18 months later they realised who, who'd actually done it. Andrew Denton: So you were in a room with this person when they were killed? Damo: Yeah, pretty much yeah. Andrew Denton: Pretty much? Damo: Yeah, it was. Andrew Denton: You actually were. Damo: Yes I was. Andrew Denton: And you have by your own admission, you, you actually found the criminal world rather glamorous and you thought that the drug scene was pretty glamorous, but when you got into prison you found that really wasn't your scene, is that right? Damo: Well yeah they were, it was, it's something you can't describe, it's like they're not really the people that you, you know, read about in Chopper Reid books and, and you know like you know they're pretty low grade sort of people. You know, there's a lot of petty theft and, you know picking on young, young kids just coming in there. I was quite old for someone to be in there you know, I was like 35, 36 at the time and yeah, and it was it was, just wasn't, they weren't my sort of people you know. Like I grew up pretty middle class and I did have a fascination with all things crime and drugs and you know from, from reading a lot of true crime books and stuff like that, yeah. Andrew Denton: It's astonishing that Chopper Reid books can't be trusted, I'm just.. Damo: Oh Andrew Denton: ...I'm really struggling with the concept. Damo: I don't want him to think that I think... Andrew Denton: No don't worry, he's after me first, you'll be okay. Eleanor, only a few years ago you were in Adelaide, you had a home, you had a partner, you were studying to be at university, how did life unravel for you? Eleanor: Well I think, I'd like to think that it all started when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, because I didn't really take that well. I'd had fairly good health all of my life, and it is after all a fatal disease in the end if nothing else gets you and there's no cure. And while I was still struggling with that I also became an apostle and I was studying at university, I was in my third year of social work and the pressure was getting on there as well. So to just relieve my pressure a bit, I started going to play the poker machines, very you know subtly in the beginning, just to get some rest and relief before going back home. And then it kind of just all happened. I had no idea that I had an addictive personality in me. Andrew Denton: So your gambling addiction overtook you? Eleanor: Yes, it just overtook everything. I stopped going to uni, I stopped seeing my partner in the evenings basically. I was always out for going to play the pokies or to get money for to going to play the pokies and it all went really fast. I would think it took about six months from when I started to when I was completely hooked. Andrew Denton: As a result of that you walked out on your partner, your life, pretty much everything you knew, what was that first night on the street like for you? Eleanor: That was really difficult and it had a really comical start because for 20 minutes I sat on a bench looking for my house key before I realised that I didn't have a house to go to nor a house key. And when that, that kind of sank in, that was the shock then I started looking around. I mean there I was, I was over 50 years old, never been anywhere near that kind of a situation, where do you go, what do you do? I was lucky because I found this spot that looked dry and looked a bit out of people's way and I just basically bedded down there for that first night. Andrew Denton: It must have been terrifying? Eleanor: No, I'm actually, it is for many women, but not for me because I have made a decision very early in my life that I am not going to let anybody scare me at night. I love walking streets at night, I always have, and I've just decided that I will be safe, and if that's the way I have to go then that's the way I'll go and then I've just recently realised that I also have this snobbishness. I didn't want to feel quite as homeless as those who actually went and sought help. I felt like I was a bit snap better than them, I could deal with this myself, I wasn't that homeless.
  7. 7. Andrew Denton: Right. Eleanor: Which is quite ridiculous now because if you're homeless you're homeless, there's no degrees about it. Andrew Denton: So you were slightly up yourself homeless person. Eleanor: Yes I was. Andrew Denton: Peachie, you grew up in rural Victoria and you were thrown out of home at the age of 9, now is it true your mum basically gave you your stuff and said don't come back? Peachie: Yeah, in a sense, I didn't really get my stuff. Andrew Denton: But she told you don't come back? Peachie: Yeah. Andrew Denton: Nine years old. How on earth did you know what to do? Peachie: I didn't. I didn't have a clue. Andrew Denton: And what did you do? Peachie: Well then I, I knew you got food from Safeway. And I didn't have an income. I was living in a footy shed through the cricket season cause they didn't use the footy shed and I used to just go down to Safeway and start eating the food off the shelves. Andrew Denton: Off the shelves? Peachie: Yeah, just sit in there and mung out. Andrew Denton: How do you do that without someone catching you? Peachie: Well they did eventually. Andrew Denton: Yeah. Peachie: But yeah... Andrew Denton: It was trying to open the can of sardines was it? Peachie: Ha ha, yeah, no I used to go to the veggie aisle and just mung on the carrots and walk around, but like cause when footy season come in I had to leave that part and I went to the Mitchell River Bridge and I didn't agree with that, too much noise, too cold and too much mozzies. The Department of Human Services found me and they, they started putting me through houses and foster homes. Andrew Denton: Well, you spent til you were about 16, you spent your life in hostels as you said and you were usually the youngest one there, and as a result of that you copped some pretty rough treatment didn't you? Peachie: Yeah, you could say I had a fair bit of it. Andrew Denton: What did you get? Peachie: Um, I got a cigar burn that's a bit bigger than a 20 cent coin on there, I got bottled in the face and just heaps and heaps and set on fire a few times, shot in the leg. Andrew Denton: Why? Peachie: Amusement I think. I never understood it, never had a clue. Andrew Denton: Did this sort of behaviour over the years start to change the sort of person you were?
  8. 8. Peachie: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Started to change the way I thought about people. Like I never trust anyone any more or I didn't want to really know anyone any more. Andrew Denton: When you were sixteen when you were old enough, you got out of the hostel world and you went down to Melbourne where you've been for the last four years, how much of that time have you spent on the streets? Peachie: About probably 2 of it, maybe maybe a bit more. Andrew Denton: And and what's it like living rough on the streets? Peachie: Oh well well at the start I hated it, I didn't, oh cause I didn't like the cold, and you just like you you get used to it, it's like sleeping in a bed eventually. You just like you get used to crashing on the cement or pulling up something, so you just get used to it eventually and then when you do break out of it you lose your sense of like how to look after your own house. But like I suppose it doesn't take that long to get back, but you forget so many things about the house everything you need to do. Eleanor: Don't you find it hard though because you do everything in public, I thought that was the worst bit like you going to the public toilets, you brush your teeth, and wash yourself there and what have you. You eat in public, you do everything in public, yeah and I mean you have, can you imagine after a day's work you go home, you close your door you put your feet up, you can run around dressed like this or that, nobody cares, you never have that, you walk around and you're always with other people, always in the public eye so to speak. You have no privacy and not that moment when you sit down and say, oh that was today. You lay down, you put your head down, and you think like hope nobody comes and bothers me at night now so I can sleep. Andrew Denton: Yeah. Damo how, when you're on the street, how do you hold yourself together, I mean it would be very easy I would think to fall apart? Damo: Well yeah you sort of you form relationships with other people who are basically, well in my case into the same poison as you right, and it'd be like you know, you'd always, you'd always team up with someone who you knew was getting paid that you knew where the good gear was and go out and get on it and then you'd reciprocate when it was your turn to get paid so. It was, it was like a vicious circle, like you never, never out of what you needed and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all junkies are really bad people, because they're not, but I have to think that way because I never want to go back there again. So I've got to hate the scene, I've got to hate the junkie on the nod you know, I've got to think, oh you're disgusting, because you know I'm only just one miserable night away from maybe picking it up again you know, it's as simple as that. Andrew Denton: Eleanor, is there a, you talked about everybody's looking at you when you're on the street, you have no home, there's nothing to constrain your life, is, is there a sense of meaninglessness to it all when you're wandering around? Eleanor: Yes there is, but you also have to keep yourself extremely organised because everything you own you have with you in a bag, or in my case a shopping trolley, and you have to know exactly where everything is so you don't have to empty every bag, every time you need something. So that keeps you busy for a long time. Then you have to kind of eat, mind your personal hygiene, wash your clothes, and for me I hang my life up on that I never let go of my personal hygiene or my appearance. I might have looked scruffy but I was always clean. Andrew Denton: You say that you pushed a trolley around, that's where all your belongings were. How do you decide what's important when? Eleanor: Well, I have to share a funny thing with you. When I stood there, when I was about to lose the last last place I could call home, I thought do I take a bath towel or do I take a bathrobe and I took the bathrobe and that's one of the biggest mistake of my life. It takes far too much space and it's not very useful, it's almost impossible to ever get dry, unless it's summer time which it was not. So if you ever become homeless please take the bath towel. Andrew Denton: Oh this is great, we're getting home tips from the homeless. Eleanor: Yes. Andrew Denton: Now I assume that a vacuum cleaner is a no-no as well? Eleanor: No, absolutely you won't need one. Andrew Denton: Let's talk about the, let's talk about the positive bit, how you've turned your life around. I'll start with you Damo, you're, you're off heroin, have been for a few years Damo: Quite a few years now. Andrew Denton: Surfing's your new addiction. Damo: Yes.
  9. 9. Andrew Denton: And where are you at with your life? Damo: Well, I'm in a really good place, I've got a fantastic job where I meet people all day and usually they're very kind to me, actually all the time they're really kind to me. Andrew Denton: And that job's selling 'The Big Issue' magazine. 'The Big Issue' magazine which all three of you sell has been set up for the homeless with profits to the homeless right? Damo: Yes. Andrew Denton: We'll get back to that in a second. Eleanor you want to be a social worker. Eleanor: Yep. Andrew Denton: And you're going to study to do that. Have you dealt with your addiction? Eleanor: I am still dealing with my addiction. I have come as far as that I, for over a year now, have never spent money I shouldn't spend on the poker machines, as in instead of paying a bill or instead of buying something I need, or buying food or what have you. I always do all those things first, but it does happen sometimes, I have to be honest that I do have a relapse. Andrew Denton: Is that scary? Eleanor: No I feel like I, as time goes by, and as other things come into my life, the gambling addiction is kind of taking a back seat. So no I don't really get scared. And a lot of people who have gone through the process tell me don't beat yourself up when you fall because that won't do you any good. Just start again one day at a time. Andrew Denton: So where are you at in your plans to be a social worker? Eleanor: Well I had hoped to come into University this year but unfortunately when I left I forgot to defer, because my life was crashing, so that was basically last thing I thought about to go to the office and fill in the paper. Andrew Denton: Ah, the bureaucracy gets you every time doesn't it. Eleanor: Yes, so because of that they gave me six fails for the year, so my entrance score had dropped, so I didn't get in on my application and my support worker at 'The Big Issue' has now straightened everything out for me, and there is a small chance that I get intermediary intake, but otherwise next year in March definitely for my last year. Andrew Denton: What's the Big Issue, selling that magazine, what's that done for your life? Eleanor: It helped me turn my life around, it was like the first positive thing that has happened to me for a couple of years. A social worker actually pointed me in that direction, she was from England and she knew the magazine, and she said I've heard they're going to start up here. And when I went to the office there was actually something I could do, someone I could see, someone wanted and needed me for something. And that meant the world to me. And since then it's all been upwards. Damo: It's just a really fair and good organisation to work for, and I don't mind and I don't, and also I've come across a computer lately, so I might write a bit in there too, cause they have a street sheet for the vendors to write their stories and poems and stuff in. So I might start doing a bit more writing and maybe doing a writing course or something like that you know, who knows. But I don't mind going ahead with my life. Andrew Denton: Peachie, you've nearly finished your landscaping degree, where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Peachie: I want to finish the last horticulture certificate cause I couldn't finish it when I was younger, when I first was doing it, so that's pretty, really the only thing I want to do. I want to make sure that's done before I'm 21. I've got one more year left. Andrew Denton: And what about you Eleanor, five years from now, where will you be do you hope? Eleanor: Well, believe it or not but I have actually managed to patch my relationship back together and five years from now I would like to work as a social worker with homeless people, because I think it's very important to me that, this bad thing happened to me, I would like to turn it around that's why I also appreciate that I can be here tonight. Because if I can make anyone's life turn for the better by sharing my experiences then maybe they won't make the same mistakes I made. That's one good thing that can come out of something really bad that happened to me. Damo: It's more important to have the experience than the certificate, if you know what I mean.
  10. 10. Andrew Denton: It's fantastic the three of you came in tonight. And I hope life smiles kindly from here. Thank you. Damo, Eleanor, Peachie. Thank you. Fairfax Papers – Background Information Surge in families without a roof over their heads Byline: Patricia Karvelas, Michael McKinnon THE number of homeless families has increased by 16 per cent to 46,200 since the election of the Coalition, according to a federal Government pilot program designed to keep at-risk families off the street. THE number of homeless families has increased by 16 per cent to 46,200 since the election of the Coalition, according to a federal Government pilot program designed to keep at-risk families off the street. The Family Homelessness Prevention Pilot says data from the main commonwealth, state and territory agency supporting the homeless, the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program, reveals a dramatic increase in applications for assistance since 1996, and indicates there will be a further rise this financial year. However, a spokesman for Family and Community Services Minister Kay Patterson said that with increased funding for the program there had been an increase in service provisions for families, who can apply for assistance multiple times. ``For this reason, an increase in SAAP services does not denote an increase in the number of homeless people,'' the spokesman said. He said a more accurate figure was the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate that the number of homeless people was now 99,900, which was lower than in the previous census of 1996. The interim report of the pilot program says 90 per cent of families stayed in their homes or were re- housed after accessing their pilot programs in the eight states and territories. The study says there were significant improvements in the housing and financial circumstances of families, with the number anticipating they would remain in secure housing for 12 months or more rising from 34 per cent to 67 per cent. The report found the majority of families, 71 per cent, sought to resolve their immediate financial crisis, with 47 per cent of these families doing so. The key findings of the report will soon be released in a submission to the federal Government, with welfare agencies now reporting unprecedented demands for help in securing accommodation. ------------------------------ Publication: The Australian Publication date: 17-2-2004 Edition: Sydney Page no: 5 Section: News Length: 300 ------------------------------ 10,000 more kids homeless Byline: Patricia Karvelas AN extra 10,000 Australian children have become homeless over the past four years, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. AN extra 10,000 Australian children have become homeless over the past four years, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Homeless services around the country reported helping children on 74,100 occasions during 2002-03. And almost half were under the age of 5. Federal Opposition family and community services spokesman Wayne Swan said the figures painted a picture of increasing poverty and inequality in Australia. ``The shameful data also reveals how inadequate the Howard Government's programs for homeless families are,'' he said. ``The handful of under-funded family homelessness pilots have helped less than 250 families to date -- 0.5 per cent of families who rely on existing services.'' ------------------------------ Publication: The Australian Publication date: 24-12-2003
  11. 11. Edition: Sydney Page no: 4 Section: News Length: 300 ------------------------------ Victoria's homeless up by 14% CENSUS Byline: Tim Colebatch, Economics Editor Canberra One in every 200 Australians is homeless and in Victoria the numbers of homeless jumped 14 per cent in the five years to 2001, a study of census data has found. The study, by Melbourne social scientists Chris Chamberlain, of RMIT University, and David MacKenzie, of Swinburne, found homelessness has kept rising among non-indigenous Australians, despite robust economic growth. Most of the homeless are not older men and do not live on the streets. About half those fitting the census definition of homelessness were between 12 and 34 and almost half were staying with friends or relatives on census night. Only 14,158 people were staying in tents, improvised shelters or sleeping out. But among non-indigenous Australians, the number climbed 17 per cent in five years, from 9828 to 11,477. Nationally, the number officially homeless fell from 105,304 to 99,900 between 1996 and 2001, but only because of a change of definition excluded 8000 Aboriginal houses that had been previously defined as ``improvised dwellings''. Mr MacKenzie said a further 22,868 were ``marginal residents'' of caravan parks. ``These are people who are unemployed or outside the labour force, in families where no one works, who are renting a van in parks that would never see a tourist,'' he said. ``These are parks for low-income people who are squashed in a small area, and forced to live there because they can't afford anyone else. You find these trailer parks all over the country, and the people there are homeless in a way.'' Mr MacKenzie said Commonwealth and state governments were running very good programs to help the homeless get back into the mainstream, but they needed more funding and better co-ordination. ``What we most need is early intervention, kicking in when people first become homeless,'' he said. ``You can be more effective then than if you get to people only after they've suffered years of damage. That's happening, but we need more of it. ``After five years when the economy improved and unemployment was falling, we still have 100,000 people homeless in some way. These are the people who seem least able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by a growing economy, and least able to move back into the workforce.'' Mr MacKenzie said part of the rise in homelessness was due to state governments closing psychiatric care centres. ``We allowed deinstitutionalisation to proceed without providing alternative services and supports to replace them,'' he said. Australian Council of Social Service president Andrew McCallum said large numbers of people were not benefiting from Australia's prosperity. ``Tragically, the face of homelessness is younger than ever before. This is a national shame,'' Mr McCallum said. ``This report should be a wake-up call to get moving on bringing down the level of homelessness and increase access to affordable housing.'' ------------------------------ Publication: The Age Publication date: 19-11-2003
  12. 12. Edition: Late Page no: 4 Section: News Length: 473 ------------------------------ Still out in the cold : housing boom, economic growth fail young homeless Byline: Adele Horin The number of homeless Australians has barely fallen in five years despite years of economic growth and a housing boom. A report released by the Bureau of Statistics yesterday found almost 100,000 Australians were homeless on census night in 2001. They included people sleeping rough, in refuges, in boarding houses or staying temporarily with friends or relatives. When definitional changes are taken into account, this is about the same number of homeless as on census night 1996.> The president of the Australian Council of Social Service, Andrew McCallum, said: ``This is a national shame homelessness is an issue for every suburb and town in Australia.'' The report found young people, women and families were now a significant proportion of the homeless. It said the growth in low-income households over the past 20 years had made people more vulnerable to homelessness. Almost half of Australia's homeless in 2001 were aged 25 or under, including 10,000 children under 12 years old most accompanied by adults. A further 26,000 were aged between 12 and 18. Women comprised 42 per cent of the homeless, a big increase compared to 30 years ago. The report was compiled by two national experts on homelessness, Associate Professor Chris Chamberlain, of RMIT, and David MacKenzie, of Swinburne University. Both academics did a similar analysis of the 1996 census. Mr Mackenzie said public funding of housing for disadvantaged people needed to be put back on the agenda. ``What are federal and state governments doing to provide public and affordable housing to enable people to move out of homelessness?'' he said. ``The answer is not much.'' Although 105,300 Australians were counted as homeless in 1996 and 99,900 in 2001, Mr MacKenzie said ``you can't argue homelessness has decreased''. A new definition of homelessness used in the 2001 census had ruled out about 7000 Aboriginal Australians who had fitted the previous definition. However, the federal Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said the report showed a decline in homelessness, which was ``good news''. ``While homelessness is an ongoing issue in Australia, today's ABS report clearly shows that we are heading in the right direction,'' she said. Mary Perkins, the executive officer of Shelter NSW, said combined federal expenditure on public housing and rent assistance had fallen 30 per cent over the past 10 years. ``The real problem is refuges for homeless people are choked because there is no exit to long-term housing,'' she said.
  13. 13. Kelly Cross, 19, has slept in parks, broken caravans and refuges for most of the past three years. ``The worst thing is when there are no beds in refuges anywhere,'' she said. ``I've had men offer me money and a place to stay but I don't trust them, even though I wanted to take the bed.'' Caption: ILLUS: Few choices . . . homeless teenager Kelly Cross, 19, shelters at the Salvation Army refuge Oasis on Crown Street.Photo: Peter Morris TABLE: LIFE ON THE STREETS SOURCE: ABS ------------------------------ Publication: Sydney Morning Herald Publication date: 19-11-2003 Edition: Late Page no: 9 Section: News And Features Length: 499 --------------------