According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) through Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Specialist Homeless Services data collection for their statistics) 105,237 individuals in 2011 were identified as homeless within Australia. The numbers would have to be larger than this as they are identified as presenting at homelessness services. The next Census to be conducted in 2016, this number of 105,237 will either grow or decline, either way, one homeless individual without a home, employment/training and support is one too many!

 

Below is the Executive Summary from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Final Report No. 237. Project New Dawn (PND) has already been utilizing this model with great effect. I believe this will be part of the future as more small to medium not for profit (NFP) companies get swallowed up by larger NFP’s. PND is a registered charity and an NFP within its own right; however their advancement of individuals gives a fresh and exciting outlook for the future.

 

Australian Governments have identified the need for `corporate responsibility,’ which could also be a political move to have corporates subsidise the welfare sector. This unfortunately is untenable in the bigger picture of welfare within Australia. Corporates, yes, do have a responsibility to the larger community; however the welfare sector itself must change to deliver programmes that actually have outcomes for participants. Governments will continue to throw money at the problem, however there is a shift in their views as evidenced in the AHURI Report, if corporates can assist and collaborate we will have a different welfare sector in the future.

 

Project New Dawn is a relatively safe option for a Government to `invest in,’ as they are already providing a model with many different partners working together, collaborating for the goal of a homeless person to 1, find accommodation, 2, find employment, 3, have support to reintegrate back in to community. They have also secured furniture from a large corporate company when the participants move into the private rental house. Without this it would be very difficult to maintain and in the long run, require more donations, grants and resources.

 

The only issue a Government may have with Project New Dawn is that it can take time. This should not be the case as some individuals do need time to readjust back into a `home life.’ Skills are needed, employment skills are required, how to deal with others and general health and wellbeing. `Wraparound Service.’ PND have a long term view with their programme twelve to eighteen months for participants. Currently it is believed that a welfare sector with Government backing can actually have a homeless person, turn their lives around in three months, to find a job, to find a home in the very expensive and out of reach Private Rental Market. It is a bit difficult for the welfare agency the individual and society to expect this to happen, the pressure must be immense, the uncertainty around funding will add another lair of despair to all involved.

 

Where PND have been very clever, is the fact they have two very large well-known companies along with a very large NFP working together. There are issues of course, however they identified this and placed an Operations Manager to handle the issues and deal with them in the most expedient way possible.

 

The next chapter for PND is to secure more funding to assure certainty for the future, build more partnerships and collaborations for the next chapter in their development. PND `provides a hand up not a hand out.’

 

“Governments in Australia and internationally have increasingly been turning to third sector (i.e. ‘not-for-profit’ non-government) organisations to deliver social services including health, education, and community services. This has included placing growing reliance on not-for-profit (NFP) providers to procure housing and deliver housing management services to those whose needs cannot be met by the market. As such a shift marks a fundamental change in the model of housing assistance delivery in Australia, it warrants research that seeks to understand its impacts from an organisational (as well as a public policy) perspective. This is the Final Report of a three-year project which investigated how larger housing NFP organisations in Australia have been developing and positioning themselves for future opportunities and challenges. Understanding development of such entities is of vital interest to governments advancing investment and regulatory strategies for the sector, to private lenders into the sector and to the sector itself.”

 

Milligan. V, Hulse. K, Pawson. H, Paul Flatau. P and Edgar Liu, E. (2015) Citations and References. Strategies of Australia’s leading not-for-profit housing providers: a national study and international comparison, AHURI Final Report No.237. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute .

 

 

Useful Links

 

http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/recent.asp

 

http://homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/homeless-statistics

 

http://aihw.gov.au/

 

Alan Thomson

Operations Manager.

Project New Dawn.

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