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SeedFunding Youth Homelessness Services to Break the Cycle

By News, StreetSmart Projects

On any given night 26,238 Australians aged 12-24 are homeless. These young people are more likely to leave school, experience long term unemployment, and are more likely to experience persistent homelessness in adulthood.

The main risk factors that lead to homelessness among young people include: family violence, child abuse, parents with alcohol or drug issues, and mental illness. That is to say – young people who experience homelessness have the odds stacked against them from the outset. Read More

Street Socceroos Ready to Kick Goals at the Homeless World Cup

By News, StreetSmart Projects

When so much attention on homelessness surrounds the eviction of rough sleepers from major cities, or the doom and gloom of housing (un)affordability – it’s good to shine a light on some positive actions that are changing lives.

At StreetSmart, we proudly support new ways to tackle homelessness and have provided seed funding for ideas like Orange Sky Laundry, Fare Share and HoMie which have all gone on to make meaningful community impact. Another program that has grown in leaps and bounds is the Big Issues Street Soccer program. Read More

#LocalHeroes With Darwin’s Danielle Mann

By CafeSmart, StreetSmart News

Besser Kitchen & Brew Bar on CafeSmart campaign day, 2016

Danielle Mann is co-owner of two of Darwin’s first specialty coffee cafes – Besser Kitchen & Brew Bar and Laneway Speciality Coffee. Both premises serve up high-quality Campos Coffee and are among CafeSmarts most committed participants.

Danielle has been a part of CafeSmart for six years, first joining us when she was operating a cafe in Sydney. “When I moved back to Darwin, getting our new cafes on board with CafeSmart was one of the first things we did. Even though is a national campaign – you know that it is supporting people in your own backyard and that is really important.

In our area, we have supported two projects that support women and children escaping domestic violence. That is such important impact, and small grants can make a big difference.”

Up North, our CafeSmart grants support the Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter and Dawn House. The Northern Territory has the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, which is why our grants are lending a hand to the work these organisations do. Last year Dawn House supported 500 families in their crisis and transitional housing and our CafeSmart grant helped to fund their children’s school holiday program.

Susan Crane from Dawn House said a bit of fun can make a big difference to children experiencing crisis. “Most of the mother’s we see are on income support, so they would not normally be able to access these types of programs. For children recovering from trauma, getting out of the shelter to go skating and have a bit fun is really positive.”

When CafeSmart sign-up time rolls around each year, Danielle’s two premises are the first to populate our map of participating cafes. She explains that it’s an opportunity to raise funds, awareness, and to be a little creative in supporting the local community.

“CafeSmart is a great way to get raise awareness, involve customers, and it’s a great uplifting event for the staff too. This year, I think we’ll get everyone dressed up in the bright CafeSmart yellow.”

Although her two busy cafes are among the top fundraisers – Danielle is keen to drum up more support for the CafeSmart cause in the Darwin area.

“Darwin is a such a small place, so I know lots of the other cafe owners personally. Through those personal connections and talking about what our cafes are doing – I hope to encourage another 10 cafe’s in Darwin to come on board and raise $5000 for our area.”

One of the humbling things about CafeSmart is that it is a nationwide campaign, driven by local people who care about their community. I asked Danielle what drives her commitment to the campaign.

“The stigma around homelessness doesn’t really match the reality – homelessness can impact anyone. I just want to do what I can, and I think CafeSmart is a simple way to do that”

 

We will be bringing you more #LocalHero stories in the coming weeks – from cafes big and small.

You can #HelpYourHood this #CafeSmart campaign by signing up your café, or looking for your local this August 4.

Hunger and Food Security: an Invisible Crisis

By StreetSmart News, StreetSmart Projects

CareVan works in the Victorian and NSW boarder and serves up company and hot meals to the most vulnerable in the community.

This month is one of the coldest of the year. For those without a safe place to sleep or without the resources to heat their home, it’s the toughest time of year. That is why we are supporting three projects this June that are providing hot meals to people doing it tough.

Food security is an invisible crisis in our community. The dismantling of the social safety net by successive governments, housing stress, stagnant income growth, job insecurity and the cost of living are piling up – and it’s costing people dearly.

1 in 6 Australians report having experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months, and a quarter of these are going hungry regularly. This is the difference between paying rent or a decent meal. It’s the choice between the gas heater and sending the kids to school with a packed lunch. Kathy Hogarthy at the St Mary’s House of Welcome has been running their meal service for years and explains that the “poorest of the poor” is a fast growing group:

“The demand for our services is unprecedented. In the last six months our daily breakfast has doubled and for some of these people that will be their only meal for the day.
It gets really cold and people need a substantive meal to stay healthy and warm. People are having to make the choice between a poor meal from a 7/11 and their medication or other really essential needs.”

 

Nationally more than 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, a third of whom are children. As a wealthy country it should be deeply shocking that we have eroded our once strong social safety net to such an extent that more than half a million people cannot put food on the table every month.

The depth of this problem is indicated by the diversity of those it effects. People with a disability, seniors, aboriginals, migrants and asylum seekers, women escaping domestic violence, people in rural or remote areas, single parents, as well as single men. Kathy has witnessed a shift in the kind of people coming in for the meal service:

“We are seeing a lot more women than in the past, lots of them sleeping in their cars and coming to us for a shower and a meal. Aboriginal people, and even children. The working poor haven’t seen an income rise in years, and can’t cope. There are so many factors, and so many people who just can’t even scrape by anymore.”

 

Happy diners at the CareVan meal service

The CareVan operates a meal service in Albury Wodonga for some of the communities most vulnerable, many of whom are wedged between different state arrangements of housing and social services. They also support a local church by donating meals, which Stacey Franklin says brings in more working class people who cannot cope with the cost of living, but still have a roof over their heads. Popping in to grab a take-away is less confronting for people who don’t have much interaction with charitable services. For these people, bill shock is a big reason they are struggling and need support when a big bill lands in their letter box.

With the sharp increase of people sleeping rough, we are confronted by poverty every time we step outside. The people cluttered around the safety of inner city streets are at the rough end of crisis. Less visible are families who can’t afford rent, let alone put food on the table. For every six people sleeping rough there is another 100 invisible people not able to afford the basics like food and shelter. Every one of these people deserves better, and that includes a nutritious meal and safe place to call home.

While we believe that governments need to step up and take the lead to address this crisis – we know that takes time, and people are struggling right now. You can support CareVan, St Mary’s House of Welcome and the Adelaide Day Centre meals services through our StreetFunder by following the link below.

StreetSmart is all about crowdfunded people power and getting every dollar donated to where it’s need most.

JOIN US IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER THIS WINTER BY DONATING TO OUR STREETFUNDER

 

StreetSmart Community Grants fund 78 Projects

By DineSmart, News, StreetSmart News
WIPAN 2016The smiles of the WIPAN team show just what it means to receive a StreetSmart grant.
StreetSmart exists to help fund grassroots homeless services, providing vital funds to the front line of the fight against homelessness. So, it’s a great feeling when we get to distribute the funds we have raised with your support – this is what all the hard work is about – real impact on the ground. With Government funding in many areas being cut, especially in the emergency aid budget, these small grants become vital to the projects we fund.
Last week emails went out to 78 projects, across five States, all of which will be funded from the proceeds of DineSmart 2015 and our online fundraising.
Here is what some of the recipients said on hearing they would receive a small StreetSmart community grant…
Read More

StreetSmart Projects Crowdfunding Platform Update

By News, StreetSmart News

Back in lStreetSmart Projects Logoate 2014, after 18 months works, we launched our own crowdfunding platform, StreetSmart Projects.  The concept was simple – to empower smaller grassroots homeless services to engage and connect with the StreetSmart supporter community to crowdfund important projects in the community.  The pilot platform ran for 12 months raising over $35,000 for 10 projects.  Organisations such as Dandelion Support Network, The Footpath Library, Safe Futures and Emerge Womens and Childrens Network all successfully used the platform and each of the 10 projects reached its funding goal.  In a number of cases we raised considerably more than the $ target through donations direct to the organisation, in kind support and additional support.

Read More

All Stars Dinner raises $32,522

By StreetSmart News

201603060078 (1024x683)Sunday night saw the Front of House All Stars crew assemble at Ezard for the 10th All Stars Dinner, the 8th in Melbourne. We are so lucky to have the support of 8 multi Award winning restaurateurs and managers – the best in the business – supporting our work. 100% of the proceeds of the evening are donated by the All Stars to StreetSmart, an amazing commitment from all involved. This year we raised $32,522, just shy of our previous record. To know we have the support of leaders across the hospitality industry gives us such a boost and motivation to keep building our campaigns and community impact.
We welcomed back several tables of guests from previous years and to quote one guest “it was fantastic, we wouldn’t miss it” – and we second that.
The food and wine matches showcased by each All Star were sublime, giving a fascinating insight into their restaurants.   Here’s the menu… Read More

DineSmart Is About Local Community

By DineSmart

20151205_DineSmart_0097DineSmart is all about dining out and chipping in.  It brings together committed restaurant crews and committed diners, working together to help fund some of our smaller, local homeless services.  Diners donating $2 per bill have helped StreetSmart raise $3.6 million to support 1147 projects Australia wide.

Last week I met up with Chin Chin Executive Chef Ben Cooper and Caroline and James from Youth Projects in Melbourne.  Last year Chin Chin were our top national fundraiser and some of those funds raised went to support the crucial work of the team at Youth Projects in Hosier Lane.  They are probably just 500 metres apart.  They operate in the same neighbourhood.  It’s a great example of how StreetSmart not only raises vital funds, but also helps connect communities and raises the profile of smaller services and the work they do….often unnoticed.  This is what Caroline wrote when reporting back on last years grant….

“Youth Projects Ltd. were the successful grant recipients of a $5000 grant to supply 20 WINTER SURVIVAL KITS for clients who attend the Living Room Primary Care Clinic in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.

The kits contain essential items that people experiencing homelessness felt they would need to survive the harsh winter temperatures and conditions. The kits contained a swag, thermal beanie, scarf, socks, gloves, undergarments and sleeping bag. Research showed that these items were considered by clients to be the most important in staying warm during the night in winter.

This winter has been extremely cold with temperatures frequently reaching zero so the kits were distributed within a matter of weeks of us receiving them.  You could say they were a life saver!

Obviously no one wants to see people without a roof over their heads, sleeping rough on the streets.  It’s dangerous and harsh, but currently there are few housing options for people in crisis.  These kits are a practical emergency response, bringing some comfort for those with no other alternative.   

Jack and Alison were a couple who presented to the Living Room Clinic within the first week of us receiving the kits. They were newly homeless due to being harassed and threatened, and presented in a distressed state with no warm clothes, bedding, food or toiletries. After a brief assessment of their situation it was established that Jack and Alison were the perfect people for a winter survival kit. They left with a kit each and were comforted by the fact that they were going to be able to stay warm and protected from the winter weather. We were able to help the couple over a number of weeks, eventually helping them return to their housing once the perpetrator had been removed and the situation had been resolved.

A huge thanks to all the restaurants, their staff and customers who make these community grants possible.  You are impacting many people’s lives in a very positive way.”

So, as we enter the final weeks of 2015 DineSmart campaign I wanted to thank everyone involved. That’s all the restaurateurs who gave the nod, the front of house managers and staff who run the campaign in venue and all the donors who chip in their $2’s.  Last year over 100,000 tables did just that, and helped people like Jack and Alison who, in their time of crisis, turn to the small organisations we fund and find help from people like Caroline and James.

You can DineSmart until the 31st December at participating restaurants.  Check the map here:

If you’re not dining out but support our work in the community you can donate here

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