Hunter Homeless Connect Day links people to vital services such as accommodation and housing providers, health and well-being, legal and financial assistance, employment, study, and general support to people who are experiencing homelessness, doing it tough and/or are at risk of homelessness. This is delivered in an environment that maintains dignity, fosters a culture of connectedness, and encourages a sense of being a valued member of the community.
The day is coordinated by Hunter Homeless Connect Inc., a volunteer not-for-profit organisation.
A Registry Week was held in Newcastle in October 2016, coordinated by St Vincent de Paul Society and funded by NOVA for Women and Children. Micah Projects and the Mercy Foundation were also involved. Over three early mornings, volunteers took to the streets of the Newcastle LGA to survey people sleeping rough, gathering information from them using an internationally recognised tool to assess their needs. Key findings at the time revealed 54 people sleeping on the street, with 83% of them having mental health concerns. A register was generated from the survey, which continues to be updated and managed by Matthew Talbot Homeless Service via their assertive outreach program. You can notify Vinnies about people you might see sleeping on the streets in our community, via their website here.
Representatives from Newcastle City Council and Compass Housing Services attended the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito in 2016 where the Australian Government endorsed the New Urban Agenda, a 20 year roadmap that aims to help countries rethink how they plan and manage urban development. Eager to ensure momentum wasn't lost, Compass Housing convened the first international NUA conference in Melbourne in May 2017 and in Newcastle in November 2018 where experts from across the globe met to discuss strategies to ensure the agenda is implemented both here and across the broader Asia Pacific region. Both organisations have also recently attended the World Urban Forum 9 and are committed to the implementation of the NUA in Australia and ensuring all people have access to adequate and affordable housing. Click here for more information.
Australia’s housing is broken. Speculators are driving prices out of reach for a generation of Australians. There is a shortage of secure, affordable rentals and more and more people are slipping through the net and ending up homeless. There are simple things our government can do to fix the broken system and ensure everyone has a place to call home. A coalition of housing and homelessness peaks and providers from across Australia has developed a research-based campaign to broaden the public debate around housing and to put our policy priorities at the centre of the debate. The Everybody’s Home Campaign sector launch was held at the National Housing Conference on 30 November and it was publicly launched at the National Press Club in March 2018. Click here for more information.