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Boxes all ticked on homelessness

By johnboy - 19 June 2013 12

Shane Rattenbury has gone out on the front foot to let it be known the Auditor-General thinks efforts to be seen to be doing something to improve the lot of homelessness in the ACT can be signed off on:

“The report found that there is significant difficulty in the agreed definition of homelessness, which makes it difficult to provide accurate data and conclusions, something that has been reflected by Auditor Generals in other jurisdictions, who have also been tasked with a similar evaluation.

“However, on the ground, the ACT is doing quite well in meeting its obligations under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“Several programs targets have not only been met but have been exceeded and this is a very positive result for the ACT.

“The Auditor General has acknowledged some of the great achievements by ACT Community Organisations and the ACT Government, but also identified areas that could be improved, mostly in the area of contract management.

The Report made four recommendations, including improvements to financial management processes, and that ‘lessons learnt’ be reviewed and incorporated into future programs in the ACT and in discussions with the Commonwealth.

“I welcome this feedback and look forward to working to address the recommendations, all of which the Community Services Directorate agree with,” said Mr Rattenbury

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Boxes all ticked on homelessness
JennD 12:13 pm 20 Jun 13

dtc said :

Pork Hunt said :

The definition of homelessness was difficult?…

One major difficulty with the definition of homelessness is that some people do not want to live in a ‘home’ or have a single place that they call ‘home’. So is someone who wants to dosh down outside a few nights then in a shelter a few nights then stay in a boarding house for a month homeless? No fixed abode, but (for whatever reason) happy to do this. What about someone who lives with relatives or friends but a week at a time so they don’t overstay their welcome – are they homeless or not? They want a home, but cant find/afford one. On the other hand, they arent living on the street. What about people living 13 to a house or with a bed in a dorm?

Secondly, does anyone know what the obligations under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness actually are? If not, have a read and then think about whether meeting or exceeding the obligations is a good thing or not. And dont assume that because you have seen someone you think is ‘homeless’ that the system is failing. I dont doubt there are things that can be done but, guess what, these cost money

When the ‘system’ has been somewhat re-designed in order to move towards to goals of the white paper (think FirstPoint, the changes to the Youth housing and homelessness programs, creation of “a place to call home” supported tenancy properties), it looks as though pulling money out of the system (or rather no longer being able to make up for lower federal funding on per-capita basis) doesn’t help. When we’ve got extremely vulnerable people calling FirstPoint and getting an answering machine, or, women and their children continuing to have to leave home and seek a refuge due to domestic violence (as opposed to the goal in NPAH and “the road home” of perpetrators being made to leave) the system certainly isn’t working for all the people.

I’m not saying at all that money fixes everything, but effective social services do cost a bit – surely though it’s an investment to support people to become stable and re-engage in education/work/productivity. Maybe not everyone wants or needs the stability that have a fixed address provides; for those who do, not having a fixed address is a MAJOR barrier to doing anything at all really.

I am intrigued by the statements from the ACT Government that they are not reducing ‘bed nights’ available in the Capital. Like that’s a good enough response to homelessness to halve the occurance of it by 2020. What’s happening is not that bed numbers are going down, rather the support provided to people in those beds is being pared away by services who cannot maintain experienced, specialist staff. Given professional development in this field of work is also a goal of NPAH, well, round of applause for the CSD.

switch 11:26 am 20 Jun 13

tuco said :

MelonHead said :

“signed off on” There must be a better way.

I concur. Perhaps we could unpack this concept and drill down for a solution. (Did I get that in the right order?)

Only if we’re all on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet.

dtc 11:22 am 20 Jun 13

Pork Hunt said :

The definition of homelessness was difficult?…

One major difficulty with the definition of homelessness is that some people do not want to live in a ‘home’ or have a single place that they call ‘home’. So is someone who wants to dosh down outside a few nights then in a shelter a few nights then stay in a boarding house for a month homeless? No fixed abode, but (for whatever reason) happy to do this. What about someone who lives with relatives or friends but a week at a time so they don’t overstay their welcome – are they homeless or not? They want a home, but cant find/afford one. On the other hand, they arent living on the street. What about people living 13 to a house or with a bed in a dorm?

Secondly, does anyone know what the obligations under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness actually are? If not, have a read and then think about whether meeting or exceeding the obligations is a good thing or not. And dont assume that because you have seen someone you think is ‘homeless’ that the system is failing. I dont doubt there are things that can be done but, guess what, these cost money

carnardly 10:30 am 20 Jun 13

I don’t know if this person is homeless per se but there is an African looking woman who crosses Commonwealth bridge regularly in the evenings with her worldly goods and possessions in a shopping trolley. I don’t know anything about her, where she comes from or where she goes to, but it must be a cold and miserable time when you see her at 8 pm and she’s only got a dress, bare legs and sandles on.

Does anyone know who I mean. Of course some people might be just hermits but I’ve always wondered about this lady.

TheBusDriver 7:06 am 20 Jun 13

Why do I still see homeless people in Garema Place? Why do they still try to get some shut eye on our buses?

tuco 6:46 am 20 Jun 13

MelonHead said :

“signed off on” There must be a better way.

I concur. Perhaps we could unpack this concept and drill down for a solution. (Did I get that in the right order?)

HiddenDragon 11:23 pm 19 Jun 13

Thumper said :

So we met obligations under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness?

Wonderful. Tell that to those sleeping out on a park bench in minus three tonight.

+1 – this reeks of “I’m all right, Jack”.

MelonHead 7:22 pm 19 Jun 13

“signed off on” There must be a better way.

Thumper 7:00 pm 19 Jun 13

So we met obligations under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness?

Wonderful. Tell that to those sleeping out on a park bench in minus three tonight.

Pork Hunt 6:26 pm 19 Jun 13

The definition of homelessness was difficult?
How about the concept of having a home then? Can you go to a house (or similar) and by using a key or knocking on the door, gain entry to a bed for the night? Can you do this every day? Can you leave your belongings there safely each day as you go out? Does this place have shower and/or cooking facilities? Do you feel safe from the other occupants (if any) in that place? Can you come and go when ever you please?

Feel free to add to my list.

This was going to be another of my smart arse comments on this site but it made me think about what makes a home and why some people can’t deal/or choose not to with that concept. My apologies, it won’t happen again…

peitab 5:32 pm 19 Jun 13

Auditor Generals?

Beau Locks 4:53 pm 19 Jun 13

Goodness me, for a moment I was speechless. Perhaps it should be noted that the ACT Budget includes diabolical funding cuts to specialist homelessness services. Apropos this article in today’s CT: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/homelessness-services-brace-for-funding-cut-fallout-20130618-2ofsv.html

Numpties.

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