Gold Coast Homelessness Symposium looking at ageing population issues

The Gold Coast Homelessness Symposium will be held on Wednesday 7 November, with the topic of focus on Housing, Homelessness and Support for an Ageing Population.

The symposium aims to:

  • explore the rise in seniors seeking homelessness support nationally & what that means for the Gold Coast Region,
  • highlight successes and challenges for services in integrated service delivery;
  • present models of housing targeted for seniors; and
  • provide networking opportunities with a range of stakeholders.

Date: Wednesday 7th November 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 3.15 pm (morning tea, & lunch will be provided)
Venue: City Link Resource Centre (formerly Genesis Ministries)
Address: 148 Eastlake Street, Carrara QLD 4211.

Head to Eventbrite for tickets.

Post expires at 6:17pm on Wednesday November 7th, 2018

Tweed Shire Council draft Homelessness Policy now on public exhibition

Following the review of its first homelessness policy, Tweed Shire Council has incorporated the learnings and now developed a new draft Homelessness Policy (version 2.0). Feedback is open until 13 November 2018.

Future work council will be doing includes developing a Community Development Strategy which will incorporate actions across a range of social issues.

The new draft policy; review snapshot and review executive summary can be found via the link below.

The council values your feedback and welcomes submissions up to 13 November 2018 in writing, via email to [email protected] or via the submission link found here:



Post expires at 11:55am on Tuesday November 13th, 2018

Homelessness Awareness Week

Homelessness Awareness Week

Social Futures is the largest provider of Specialist Homelessness Services on the North Coast of NSW. We work with partners to provide a ‘no wrong door’ approach, so that anyone who needs help is supported. Sadly, more than 3,000 people access our Connecting Home service each year and almost a third of them are aged 16-24.

According to peak body Homelessness Australia :

  • The 2016 Census found that there were 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness on Census night.
  • Two in every five homeless people are under the age of 25.
  • On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are homeless/
  • The main causes of homelessness are poverty, unaffordable rents, and family violence/
  • Only 7% of those who were homeless on Census night were sleeping rough. The vast majority of homelessness is hidden people in crisis accommodation, rooming houses, caravan parks or overcrowded dwellings.
  • In 2016-2017, over 288,000 Australians sought assistance from Specialist Homelessness Services.

This year, Social Futures is supporting OTCP to present Homeless Connect Events in Lismore and Casino, providing lunch, haircuts, new clothes and emergency supplies to help the people in our communities facing homelessness this winter.

Homelessness Australia’s Everybody’s Home campaign aims to bring about an end to homelessness in Australia by 2030.

Lismore Council Supporting Shop-top Living

Lismore City Council is calling for more landowners in the CBD to think about shop-top housing as a way to help diversify accommodation options in the city.

Deborah Ray, the owner of Music Bizarre, was one of the first people to take advantage of subsidies and support Council provided to encourage more shop-top housing in early 2016.

Deborah had put the plans on hold due to other commitments, and then the March 2017 flood hit. Instead of letting it slow her down, Deborah decided having a secure income would make her more flood resilient and got the renovations back on track.

This week her new one- and two-bedroom units are ready to hit the rental market, while above Music Bizarre she is putting the finishing touches to a new vinyl lounge and flood-free storage area.

The Lismore Housing Strategy identified CBD housing was integral to increase housing options in the city, and in 2015 Council brought together a focus group to look at barriers and issues related to shop-top housing.

As a result of feedback, Council resolved to waive Section 94 and 64 fees and on-site carparking for shop-top housing (subject to conditions) and to work closely with property owners to help them meet the necessary fire regulations, which can be complicated and costly.

“CBD shop-top housing is a great way to ensure we have smaller types of accommodation to cater for singles and couples, which is a growing demographic. The three-bedroom home is often not a model that suits the way people are living in the 21st century,” Council’s Strategic Planning Coordinator Paula Newman said.

“We know that shop-top housing will be a huge driver in revitalising our CBD and bringing life into our city. All cities should have people living in the heart of the retail precinct and it’s something we are very keen to progress. We are thrilled to see Deborah’s renovations completed and approved, and the result is fantastic. We hope to see many others follow her example and encourage people to contact Council if they are keen to investigate shop-top housing options.”

Anyone interested in pursuing shop-top housing should phone Council’s Economic Development Manager Tina Irish on 6625 0458.

Post expires at 11:29am on Sunday September 16th, 2018

Join the special 30 Years of Sleepout Celebration

On a cold winter’s night in 1988, a small but passionate group of Mission Australia (then known as Sydney City Mission) staff huddled together in the Sydney CBD for the first ever Sleepout.

Their goal was to raise awareness about Australia’s growing homelessness problem, and raise funds to support children, adults and families who didn’t have a safe place to rest their heads.

They could never have dreamed that in 2018 Mission Australia would be celebrating 30 years of the Sleepout, after raising more than $3 million and helping over five million disadvantaged Australians since that night.

Join the special 30 Years of Sleepout celebration. This is your chance to continue the tradition started by those pioneering social justice warriors three decades ago, and support the vital work Mission Australia has been doing with Australians in need for more than 155 years.

The Sleepout encourages people across the country to get sponsored for spending a night somewhere that isn’t their usual sleeping place, such as a classroom or office, school or church hall, or outside.

Hosting a Sleepout is a great way for you to make a positive impact in the community by raising awareness and critically needed funds for vital homelessness services

Want to get involved but don’t want to sleep out? No worries! Why not host a 1988-themed party, collect a gold coin donation, hold a morning tea, or come up with a creative idea of your own?

RSVP today for the 30 Years of Sleepout celebrations to access all the resources you need. For more information, please call Georgia Carter on (02) 9217 1074 or email [email protected].


FACS Rent Choice Consultations

FACS is undertaking development of a new Rent Choice product to assist adults with low incomes, who have been private renters over the long term but have suffered a single destabilising event, such as retrenchment or serious but finite illness, that has reduced their income and/or increased expenses. FACS has engaged Catherine Stuart from Lee Road Consulting to conduct consultations with local practitioners, to inform and develop the policy framework for the new Rent Choice product.

FACS is seeking your assistance in identifying local practitioners who work with people who may experience housing issues associated with destabilising events, to attend these workshops. This group may include but is not limited to social workers, community workers, health practitioners, Specialist Homelessness Services workers and tenant advocates.

The workshops have been rescheduled and are planned for the following locations/dates:

  • Tuesday 21 November 2017- Parramatta
  • Wednesday 22 November 2017 – Wollongong
  • Thursday 23 November 2017 – Newcastle
  • Friday 24 November 2017 – Teleconference (dial in details will be forwarded to participants)

Nominations or enquiries about the workshops should be sent to Lachlan Camp, Graduate, in the Private Rental Assistance Team at FACS. Please email Lachlan at [email protected]

Share your thoughts on people who would benefit or research FACS should consider in the development of the new Rent Choice product, by contacting Catherine on 0439 084 657 or [email protected].

There will be opportunity for you to refine the policy framework at a consultation session for the NGO Housing Partners Reference Group in late-November. FACS will be in contact with you separately about the scheduling of this session.

Further information on existing Rent Choice programs can be found on the FACS website



Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.