Homeless Service Delivery Faces Major Barriers
20 October 2008 at 4:31 pm
Homeless service delivery faces major barriers according to new report by Homelessness Australia
In light of Anti-Poverty Week and the impending release of the White Paper on
Homelessness, the report called Overcoming Barriers shows people experiencing homelessness face multiple barriers to accessing the support that they need.
Just over 75% of clients using the homeless support network (called the Supported
Accommodation Assistance Program, or SAAP) needed to be referred to 3 other services to get the support they needed.
This includes things like housing, mental health, counselling, financial, legal aid and employment, education and training.
When they were referred to these other ‘mainstream’ services, they faced a range of
barriers to service delivery included waiting lists, transports costs, and ID issues.
More than 70% of services said waiting lists were an issue for their clients.
Simon Smith, Executive Officer of Homelessness Australia says responding to homelessness will mean we need to do much more to address the barriers to accessing other Government programs used by people who are Homeless.
Smith says the Government needs to be creative here and think about how we use things like brokerage fees for transport for clients.
He says there is also a need to work across Government to address waiting lists for many different Government services.
Overcoming Barriers, shows that with an increase in funding more service deliveries could be provided in-house or linked to SAAP.
Smith says it is hoped that the White Paper will canvass the need to provide increased funding to SAAP and service delivery, branching numerous essential services into and out of SAAP.
The report follows the release of new Government data showing on average one in two people are turned away from homeless services each day.
The Homelessness Australia Report Overcoming Barriers – Fact Sheet, summary and full report can be found at: http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/site/policy.php