The following fact sheet highlights the Australian and South Australian governments' efforts to reduce homelessness and includes details on South Australia’s Implementation Plan under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
Homelessness in South Australia
According to the Counting the Homeless report, 7,962 South Australians were homeless on Census night 2006. Of these:
- 848 were sleeping rough
- 66 per cent were aged 34 or younger
- 27 per cent were aged 12 to 18 years
- 15 per cent were children under 12 years who were with either one or both parents
- 11 per cent were Indigenous.
What we are doing
The Australian and South Australian governments are committed to reducing homelessness.
In December 2008, the Australian Government released the White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, which called on all levels of government, business, the not-for-profit sector and the community to join together to reduce homelessness.
The Road Home outlined the need for new investment in homelessness and reform of existing services. Homelessness must be prevented wherever possible. People who experience homelessness must be supported to move quickly through the crisis system into long term housing and at the same time get help to reconnect with education, employment and the community. Mainstream services and homelessness services have to work together more effectively to reduce homelessness.
In The Road Home, the Australian Government adopted two headline goals:
- to halve the rate of overall homelessness by 2020
- offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.
The White Paper also included interim targets to 2013 to contribute to these long term goals.
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Work already under way
In The Road Home the Australian Government committed to boost its efforts across all areas of government to achieve the 2020 headline goals and interim targets for reducing homelessness. This is especially important in areas such as social housing, employment, income support and aged care.
Some of these initiatives include:
- $434.24 million allocated for South Australia to construct over 1,300 new dwellings and refurbish existing social housing dwellings as part of the $5.6 billion Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan
- $29.98 million over two years for South Australia under the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing to increase the supply of social housing through the construction of new dwellings
- improvements to Centrelink's capacity to respond to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- additional emergency relief funding, more personal helpers and mentors for people living with severe mental illness, innovative employment services and increased capital and recurrent funding for elderly people who are homeless.
New work through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness
As part of The Road Home, in December 2008, the Council of Australian Governments established a National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. Under the Agreement the Australian Government has agreed to provide additional funding for homelessness to the states and territories who have agreed to match Australian Government funding and deliver services and capital projects that will contribute to an overall reduction in homelessness.
The Australian and South Australian governments will contribute $82.1 million over five years to reduce homelessness under the Agreement. South Australia has developed an Implementation Plan setting out new initiatives and additional services which will make a substantial contribution toward the achievement of the 2013 interim targets to reduce homelessness.
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The Implementation Plan
The South Australian Government has developed a strategic framework for this Implementation Plan in response to the Australian Government's White Paper. The implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness will enable both expansion and reinvigoration of current efforts across specialist homelessness services and mainstream services.
Under the Agreement South Australia is delivering a number of initiatives. Some of these include:
A Place to Call Home
- Implementation of four housing projects to deliver a total of 90 housing outcomes under A Place to Call Home. These include:
- Ladder St Vincent Street Youth Housing Service
- Young Families Housing Service
- Port Augusta Common Ground
- Northern Helping Young People Achieve Housing project.
Preferred Support Provider Panel
- The Preferred Support Provider Panel has been implemented to ensure the provision of quality support to clients experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Forty three agencies have been appointed to the Panel.
Aged Homelessness Assistance
- Safe long-term supported accommodation for people over 55 experiencing homelessness in conjunction with support services focused on reducing isolation, sustaining tenancies, community integration, and connecting clients to aged care services.
Child Focus Support
- Individual and group supports for the children accompanying adults within the specialist homelessness service sector.
Therapeutic Youth Service
- Accommodation services and onsite and outreach counselling programs for young people aged 12 to 18 years focusing on reunion and establishment of independent living skills.
Integrated Housing Exits Program
- Accommodation and pre- and post-release case management support to clients to prevent them from exiting into homelessness, assist them to develop independent living skills and support them to deal with risk factors that may lead to reoffending.
Perpetrator Housing Program
- Ten short term houses and support for perpetrators of domestic violence who are removed from the family home to allow women and children to remain / return home when safe.
Financial Services Clinic
- Provision of individual counselling, planning and advice to people who are at homeless or at risk of homelessness.