Homelessness conference to explore new ways to reduce homelessness
Social Housing Minister Zoe Bettison will tell today's second annual Addressing Homelessness Conference that employment and training are important to addressing homelessness.
Ms Bettison will open the conference - Valuing the Homelessness Sector: Humanity, Productivity and Building Futures - at the Adelaide Convention Centre this morning as part National Homelessness Prevention Week.
"Connecting homeless South Australians both socially and economically is key to driving down the number of people living without safe and secure accommodation," Ms Bettison said.
"Economic participation is important – it provides many social, interpersonal, psychological and health benefits, as well as opportunities to move out of poverty.
"Successful employment and training programs like the ones provided by Hutt Street and Catherine House help to reduce repeat homelessness by putting people back on their feet.
"We must however continue to tackle the root causes of homelessness including domestic violence, family breakdown, intergenerational poverty and addiction."
Today's conference will explore new directions for public policy as well as profiling emerging state, national and global trends on housing and homelessness.
"Homelessness continues to be a difficult and complex problem with no straightforward or easy solutions that underpin it," Ms Bettison said.
"Over recent years, the homelessness sector and governments have together made significant advances in responding to the needs of people who are homeless or at risk.
"However, the ever changing face of homelessness means we must look at new ways to provide support and services."
In 2015-16, more than $58 million of combined State and Commonwealth funding will be provided to the sector in South Australia. A total of 72 homelessness programs are being run from 97 outlets across the state.
These programs include:
- services for women and children escaping domestic and family violence
- youth specific crisis and support services for young people between 15 and 25
- generic homelessness services for adults, couples and families
- Aboriginal specific services, including for domestic violence and youth.
"These services are critical in supporting the sector to respond to people in crisis," she said.
"They provide access to early intervention and emergency accommodation, and help disadvantaged South Australians break the cycle of homelessness and turn their lives around."
The conference comes on the eve of Hutt Street's annual Walk a Mile in my Boots which about 6000 South Australians are expected to attend on Friday morning.
For further information on the walk, visit www.walkamile.org.au.