April 2022 Edition

Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) 2022

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QYHC marked Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2022 by holding our online component of Platform 1225. After COVID related delays, it was fantastic to bring the sector together for this event, albeit at a distance. For our small team delivering an online Forum is always a little nail biting as an exercise. No major technical glitches on the day left us sighing with relief that participants could enjoy the fabulous content delivered.

We were treated to presentations from a range of sector professionals as well as young people with a lived experience of homelessness and in the case of our first presenters - both. We were so fortunate to hear from Jordanah and Caitlin, professionals in the social work and human services field as well as being young people with a lived experiences of homelessness and systems including the child protection system. They shared their stories of the bias and assumptions they have experienced as workers in the sector and gave us much to think about in terms of how we move forward as a sector honouring and supporting the rich experiences of our staff.
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Dr Ann Morgan spoke about how we can cultivate greater self-reflection and self-awareness to support enhanced awareness of the young people and colleagues with whom we work. Synapse’s Nikki Jones outlined how brain injury impacts young people.

Coming to us from Melbourne, Professor Kerry Arabena presented on reimaging Indigenous housing, health and wealth offering key data and inspirational programs.
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YHMD would not be complete without hearing from young people. We were fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of four young people from our youth reference group. Ange and Rhys shared their concerns about the difficulties that young people are currently facing in trying to enter the private rental market, even while working full-time and earning a decent wage. Pierro provided insight into what it was like being a young homeless migrant in Australia, having little awareness of our systems and no guidance around how to access information. Chloe shared her emotional story of being locked out of the youth housing system and not being able to access support due to her complex needs.
Our sincere thanks to our young people for their vulnerability, wisdom and for being so open and honest in the sharing of their stories. Most of all for being such amazing advocates for other young people who are homeless or at risk. We’re now eagerly anticipating seeing you all face-to-face on October 24th at Rydges, Southbank.


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Rental Affordability Snapshot: Young People Being Left Behind

The 2022 Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot surveyed over 45,000 rental listings across the country and found affordability is at an all-time low. Of extreme significance is that our young people on youth allowance payments are being left behind and face being locked out of the private rental market. This year’s data highlights how fierce the private rental market is for young people on Centrelink payments. The results show that a young person who is looking for a share house and is on youth allowance can afford one single room out of the tens of thousands that were reviewed. This places young people at the bottom of a competitive and brutal market.
To tackle the affordability crisis that the nation is facing, low income and high prices need to be addressed. There are solutions such as raising the rate of Centrelink payments, reforming rent assistance to match increasing rent prices, building more social housing and protecting the National Rental Affordability Scheme. Anglicare Australia is calling for housing affordability to be on the national government’s agenda as we head into an election. It should be this simple – make rentals affordable so that everyone is housed.

To read more about the Rental Affordability Snapshot, click here.
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The campaign to Raise the Rate for Good is crucial to reducing poverty and inequality in Australia.
The aim of the Raise the Rate for Good campaign is to fix the social security safety net for good so that it keeps people out of poverty, with an income of at least $70 a day.

On 27 April 2020, the Coronavirus Supplement was introduced – it was the day the Government demonstrated that it is possible for them to significantly improve the lives of those living on income support.
The subsequent two years, and subsequent waves of COVID-19, have been a different story. The federal government rolled back many of these supports and has failed to care for those most in need.

And so, Wednesday 27 April 2022 was a National Day of Action in which community organisations and people living on Centrelink payments came together to call for income support to be raised permanently. To find out more about the campaign, click here.

Moving Forward –
All Young People Safely Housed

For those who have participated in the QYHC Mapping and Modelling Project, the Draft Report for Comment, entitled Queensland Moving Forward – All Young People Safely Housed - will be landing in your inboxes in the coming days with directions on how to offer your feedback. A huge thank you to all the service providers who have given of their time and energy for this piece of work. We really appreciate and value your input.

Mackay Co-responder Team Guiding Youth Away From Crime

The Queensland government’s joint police and youth justice co-responder program continues to prevent youth crime on the streets of Mackay. Co-responders are helping to put young people on the right track by connecting them with support services. In Mackay, this includes linking vulnerable young people with work experience opportunities and mentoring them through the Project Booyah and Transition to Success Programs. The Mackay co-responder program has engaged with young people in Mackay more than 700 times since the program started 12 months ago. This program is an innovative way for law enforcement to engage with young people to help prevent anti-social and offending behaviour from happening in the first place.

Co-responders in Mackay have found that the young people they are engaging with are often experiencing a complex range of issues, including feeling unsafe at home. This is typical of many young people who become entrenched in the youth justice system. There are many services that young people are not aware of. It is the co-responders job to keep facilitating connections.

Decommissioned QPS cars gifted to Youth Engagement Program

Two decommissioned Queensland Police Service (QPS) vehicles have been gifted to the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council (WASC) Ranger Program. WASC is a motivated and forward-looking council that focuses on working in partnership with the community, the QPS and service providers to improve community safety and harmony through locally inspired initiatives. In collaboration with PCYC, WASC is developing plans to expand the existing Ranger Program by introducing the ‘Redbank’ Junior Ranger Program which will provide opportunities for local young people to gain qualifications and employment pathways, learn First Nations languages, culture, and care, and divert them from anti-social behaviour.
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Homeless Connect is being held at the Brisbane Showgrounds on Thursday 19th May 2022 from 9am to 2pm. This free event provides the opportunity for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to connect with a range of support services. These services include haircuts, legal help, medical care, clothing and accommodation referrals. Homeless Connect offers free return bus services from multiple locations for people to get to the event.

For the Homeless Connect flyer and information about the bus services that are available, click here.

Donations for the event are being collected until Friday 6th May 2022. Find out how to donate here.
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Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Helping young people break the cycle of violence is the focus of a program being trialled in Queensland. K.I.N.D. which stands for Kinship, Improving relationships, No violence and Developing skills, works with young people, partners and family members to deal with the effects of violence in their lives. K.I.N.D. helps young people find new ways to address their problems and manage anger to maintain healthy, safe, and respectful relationships and break the ongoing cycle of violence.

Brisbane Youth Service is working in partnership with The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, and Children’s Health Queensland’s Forensic Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) to deliver this new early intervention program. The program includes nine modules for the young person, six modules for the young person’s partner or family, and three modules attended jointly. The skills-based program will take between three and six months to complete. By involving partners and family members, everyone’s skills to deal with problems and find new ways to manage their anger will be developed. The program is currently being offered at BYS and will also be offered at Brisbane South and Ipswich Youth Justice centres and will then be extended to other regional locations. The trial will finish in December 2023.
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Transforming Marketplaces Boosts First Nations Art,
Craft and Design

A new funding initiative designed to support Queensland-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and artists to distribute high quality, ethically produced visual art works is now open. The First Nations Art, Craft and Design: Transforming Marketplaces will provide funding of up to $120,000 for large scale projects and up to $60,000 for small scale projects. This initiative is a key part of the Queensland Government’s Creative Together 2020 – 2030 Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, which includes ‘Elevate First Nations arts’ as a priority. The initiative supports First Nations artists, designers and arts organisations who have innovative art, craft or design product and are seeking to connect to national and/or international markets. It also increases the production of authentic First Nations art, craft and design products for distribution and sale.

Applications close on 11 May 2022 at 4pm.
For more information about how to apply, click here.

Clancestry 2022:
A Celebration of Country
at QPAC in May

The joy of First Nations artists and events will be presented next month from 13 – 28 May 2022, with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) signature event Clancestry - A Celebration of Country. Clancestry 2022 will showcase and celebrate First Nations arts, stories and cultural practices. Clancestry’s theme of Celebration of Country will create awareness of the rich history and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will encourage conversations on our reconciliation journey. Clancestry offers employment opportunities for more than 130 First Nations artists and arts industry workers across the festival’s 50 events. QPAC will engage additional First Nations staff across programming, production, marketing and content creation. It will also connect them with mentors in their respective fields with workshops and conversations for the local First Nations community, to support artist and sector development.

For more information about this event, click here.
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Funding Boost for Disability Advocacy Services

People with disability will have better access to disability advocacy support services under a $5.9 million funding boost from the Queensland Government. Funding for eleven organisations - with a priority on tailored support for children and First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse people has been announced. Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) has been selected as the inaugural Principal Advocate. QAI will operate a central hub, called Pathways, to assess need, maintain a consistently high level of advocacy practice across the state, and identify and escalate any systemic issues. They will link people to either a regional advocacy service or one of the specialist services for children, First Nations peoples or people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. By aligning data on individual advocacy, persuasive evidence of the broader experiences of people with disability will be generated which will create a powerful tool for achieving positive change.
For more information about QAI Pathways, click here.

QGSO Annual Statistical
Report Released

Latest statistics released by the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office reveal a decrease in the number of unique offenders, including youth offenders, and the number offences committed. These statistics reinforce the incredible amount of work being performed by police across the state. In the past two years, an extraordinary amount of work has been targeted towards youth crime, and this is reflected in the decrease in unique offenders. However, it is known that more work needs to be done and a focus will remain on reducing youth crime. The government has provided its biggest investment in policing in over three decades by delivering more than 2000 extra police personnel. The QPS will continue to work with other support agencies to divert young people away from crime.

Toowoomba Training for at-risk Young People Celebrates 1 Year

A skills and training program for young offenders and at-risk youths has marked its first year in Toowoomba. The Transition to Success (T2S) program in Toowoomba was one of twenty sites across Queensland providing alternative education and vocational training to prepare young offenders and at-risk teens for work. This site is now delivering their second T2S program in collaboration with a range of partners including Toowoomba PCYC, local Indigenous artists and Queensland Fire Emergency Services. T2S is about creating partnerships between businesses, community groups and organisations to generate positive change for at-risk young people. It is fantastic to see Toowoomba’s program going from strength to strength.
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PFLAG Launches Being Me

Together with Education Queensland and True Relationships and Reproductive Health, PFLAG has launched the video ‘Being Me’ as well as LGBTIQAP+ educational resources for schools. The ‘Being Me’ video is designed to assist students with their sexual and gender identity. 'Being Me' features a young person living in an ordinary world who feels they are “anything but ordinary.” The three-minute video goes on to explore the struggle for the character to be themself. It examines the fears of talking to other people and what their reactions may be. ‘Being Me’ is rich with simple empowering messages to effectively support young people in their coming out process. The video will be paired with resources that will be sent to all Queensland schools. Check out the video here.
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Counselling Service Available

Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Mental Health and Family Wellbeing Service offers counselling to children, individuals, couples and families. There are offices in various locations across Queensland. Sessions can be provided face-to-face as well as over the phone and through Microsoft Teams. For those on a Centrelink payment, the cost is free for 6-12 sessions.

To book a counselling appointment, call 1300 114 397. For the program flyer, click here.
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Safe and Connected
Futures Program

The Safe and Connected Futures Program helps young people to improve relationships with family members to prevent homelessness. Support is provided to young people and their family members to build skills in:
  • Communicating effectively
  • Improving connection
  • Resolving conflict
  • Managing emotions
Support can be provided to young people aged 12-25 who are living at home with family but are at risk of leaving or have recently left. It is essential that both the young person and their family members are engaged so that relationships can be strengthened to enable the young person to keep living at home or be supported to live independently.

To access the program flyer, click here.
To access the program referral form, click here.
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NDIS Early Childhood Approach Community Info Sessions

The NDIS early childhood approach supports families to help children with a disability or developmental delays to build the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their lives. The Benevolent Society is the NDIS Partner in the community who is delivering the early childhood approach across Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Logan and the Redlands.

Online information sessions for people living and working in these regions are being held on Tuesday 24 May 2022 at 6pm and Tuesday 21 June 2022 at 10am. These sessions are free but places are limited.

To register for the info sessions, click here or here.
For the program flyer, click here.

Free Online Event:
The Future of Social Housing

The Centre for Urban Research is offering a free online event on Friday 29th April at 10am entitled “The Future of Social Housing: New Directions in Regulation, Governance and Policy.” This panel discussion seminar aims to:
  • Review current directions in social housing policy and regulation in Australia, including the Victorian Social Housing Regulation Review
  • Consider how agencies and governments can better draw on tenant perspectives in the management and governance of social housing
  • Assess major opportunities for innovation in the governance of social housing
  • Position discussions about social housing management and governance within wider challenges and opportunities in the sector.
To register for this event, click here.

QuIHN’s Maise Program

QuIHN’s Maise Program provides individuals who have substance use and mental health issues with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and manage/reduce their substance use. Topics covered include:
  • Relapse prevention
  • Enhancing motivation
  • Managing mental health and self-care
  • Communication
  • Stress management
This program will run for 8 weeks on Wednesdays between 10am-12pm. Commencing on 1st June 2022.

To register for the program, call 3620 8111.
For the program flyer, click here.
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QDN Y Online Peer Support Group is on!

Queensland Disability Network is inviting young people with a disability living in Queensland to participate in their QDN Y online peer support group. This support group will be held on the first Tuesday of the month from 4pm - 5:30pm on zoom. The next group is being held on 5 April 2022. The topic of this session is the upcoming federal election. There will be guest speakers from the Australian Electoral Commission in attendance to discuss voting, elections and paid opportunities to help out on election day!

RSVP on 1300 363 783 or peersupport@qdn.org.au.
For the QDN Y flyer, click here.

QDN’s Digital Inclusion Project

QDN is currently running a pilot Digital Inclusion project in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas for people aged 18-65 years. The project is working to make sure that people with disability have user-friendly and fit-for-purpose devices as well as the data, knowledge, and skills to be able to be included in the digital world.

Further to the device support that is available, workshops that are run by people with disability for people with disability can be offered. These workshops will focus on improving:
  • Confidence using your device;
  • Staying safe online;
  • Social connection; and
  • Disaster and emergency preparedness (including COVID-19).
To find out more information about the project here.
To complete an online referral form, click here.
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Workshops Now Available!

In addition to connecting people with a disability to free digital devices, the QDN Digital Inclusion Project are excited to be providing peer-led digital support workshops. These workshops will be held at the Bardon Neighbourhood Centre, starting on 4th May 2022 and the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre, starting on 31st May 2022.

Topics being covered include:
  • Getting to know your device
  • Being online and staying informed
  • Accessing essential goods and services
  • Understanding data
People with disability are encouraged to RSVP for by calling QDN on 1300 363 783.

To access the flyers for the workshops, click here.
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Safe Places Emergency Accommodation Program

As part of the 2022-23 Budget, the Australian Government has announced an additional $100 million over five years for the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation (Safe Places) program. This additional investment will support the building, renovation or purchase of emergency accommodation for women and children escaping family and domestic violence. Consultation with states, territories and stakeholders will take place along with information sessions for potential applicants prior to the opening of the grant opportunity. Following the consultation process, the grant opportunity will open and be available on the GrantConnect website.

To subscribe to GrantConnect and stay updated on the Safe Places program, click here.
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Register Now

The National Housing Conference is returning to being face-to-face in 2022. It is being held in Canberra from Monday 8 August to Wednesday 10 August 2022. There is also the option to join the conference online. There are many repercussions for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness to discuss after the pandemic and natural disasters have hit the nation. The topics to be covered include:
  • Are COVID responses the building blocks for a national plan to end homelessness?
  • Closing the Gap on housing outcomes for Indigenous Australians
  • Is the climate crisis an impending homelessness crisis?
  • Unhoused – a game changing media campaign
To register for the conference, click here.
To view the full program, click here.

May as DFV Prevention Month

Each May, Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month (DFVP Month) to raise community awareness of domestic and family violence (DFV) and to send a clear message that DFV in families and homes will not be tolerated.
In its Not now, not ever report, the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland recommended that individuals, community groups and the private sector work together to help prevent DFV and support those affected.
For more information and resources, click here
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DFV Prevention Month
Open Thinking Conference

On 26th May 2022 for Domestic Violence Prevention month, Strong Women Talking are hosting their Biannual Open Thinking Conference. If you work with First Nations people, this conference will provide you with valuable insight and will open up your thinking to better equip your workplace and your role in the community.

For event information and ticket purchases click here.
oneplace is an online directory for Queensland parents, families and professionals that lists community services throughout Queensland. There are more than 58,000 services that provide assistance with a range of issues including parenting, domestic and family violence, legal issues, mental health and counselling, housing, financial and food assistance. It is free and easy to use.

To access the directory, click here.
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Q Shelter Learning Exchange

You are invited to register for QShelter’s learning exchange. This series will be held online on the first Tuesday of every month – the next one being on the 3rd May 2022. These sessions provide a space for housing and homelessness and other support services to discuss challenges, exchange ideas and find out about resources. Click here to register.

Domestic and Family Violence
& Tenancies Series

This free online training will increase your confidence and capacity to recognise and respond to domestic and family violence in tenancies. Domestic and family violence (DFV) and housing and homelessness are intricately linked. Housing can be the reason women stay in abusive relationships, or the reason they return. This training will provide you with the opportunity to:
  • Build confidence in responding to tenants impacted by DFV
  • Develop an approach to safely sustaining tenancies impacted by DFV
  • Understand best practice when starting or ending a tenancy impacted by DFV.
This training has limited spaces available. It is being held on Tuesday 24 May and 14 June 2022 at 10am.

To register for this event, click here.
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Register for Children’s Health Queensland Virtual Summit

You are invited to join Children’s Health Queensland Virtual Summit: A Lot Going On: An Adolescent Summit on Complex Social Needs. It is being held on Monday 9 May 2022 from 9:30am to 3:30pm. This summit will include expert speakers who will explore how adolescents encounter their services, the challenges they face working with this group and share organisational initiatives that seek to improve their health and social trajectory.

To register for this event, click here.
For the timetable for the day, click here.
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Assistance Payments Not Matching Rapid Rent Increases

With rents increasing around the country at record rates, support and welfare organisations are “calling for an increase to the rental assistance payment by 50%, which, at current rates, would lift it to a maximum of $218.70 a fortnight for singles and $290.43 for families.” It is clear that low income earners have been the hardest hit by the national rental crisis, with almost 50% now experiencing rental stress. This means that they are spending more than 30% of their income on rent. In addition to this, rental availability has also plummeted and predictions are that the worst is yet to come with homelessness rates set to rise. For years, the housing and homelessness sector have been calling for a national housing strategy that supports renters. Just ahead of a federal election, how is housing not on the agenda?

To read more about the rental crisis, click here.

No Other Option:
Families Sleeping in their Cars

Staggering rent increases in all areas has forced families, couples and singles across Queensland to sleep in their cars. Stories that are being heard over and over again are that rentals are being sold and the tenants in them are struggling to find somewhere new to live. There are reports of people applying for over 60 rental properties and being knocked back on all of them. At some inspections, there are more than 80 people to compete against and low income earners are missing out. Single mums aren’t even getting a look in as real estate agents are saying that they can’t afford rent on only one income. The only option that these people have is to sleep in their cars. More action needs to be taken.

To read people’s stories of grappling with the rental crisis, click here and here.
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Cost of Living Payments
Hitting Bank Accounts

The $250 cost-of-living payment is due to begin landing in bank accounts from 28 April 2022. More than six million eligible recipients will begin receiving the payment and there is nothing you need to do to claim the payment. If you are eligible, then it will be paid. While the payment was designed to assist with the rising cost of living, advocacy groups argue that the payment will do nothing to address the underlying causes of poverty in Australia. As ACOSS CEO states “While we welcome the extension of the $250 bonus payment to people on pensions and allowances, when you’re living on $46 a day, this payment will help for a week or two, but people have to pay their rent 52 weeks a year.”

Homeless Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Project (HIDRR)

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund has commenced a project entitled: ‘A person-centred capability approach to disaster management with people experiencing homelessness’. It is anticipated that this project will lead to the development of a homelessness specific framework and toolkit to assist services and persons they support to be better prepared in any future disaster event.

The current stage of the project aims to: understand the preparedness, capabilities and support needs of people experiencing homelessness and the services that support them (including people experiencing homelessness with disability); co-develop the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Framework and Toolkit for building resilience with people experiencing homelessness and, implement and evaluate the P-CEP Framework and Toolkit by homeless services with the people they support.

This project targets the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) within Queensland, with the highest rates of homelessness and highest levels of homelessness service provision.

Over the coming months the project will be sending out surveys to homelessness services with the intent to capture the feedback of service providers and their clients. Any assistance you can provide this project will ensure the tool released will be the most effective, so please keep an eye out for this in your inbox.

Calling for Case Examples: Changes to the Queensland Criminal Code

New legislation requires every adult in Queensland to report information relating to child sexual offences committed by an adult in relation to a child under 16 years of age to the Queensland Police Service. Failure to do so is punishable by 3 years in prison. The Queensland Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 received assent in Parliament on the 14 September 2020 and commenced in Queensland on the 5th July 2021.

Following information and practice forums across the Youth, Women’s and Sexual Assault sectors a Working Group has been formed to further assist organisations in implementing this legislation.

If anyone has feedback or case examples to share please contact the working group via Lorraine on: 0448 073 463 or Lorraine@qyhc.org.au.

To read more about the Laws targeting sexual offences against children, click here
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