OUR MISSION – MULTIPLE LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTERS
We're on a mission to sustainably end homelessness by building community to effectively deliver emergency shelter and targeted programs.
Through providing supported accommodation, giving our clients the tools to heal and deal with trauma and by building community, our model enlivens the spirit of Luke 4:18.
"The Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised"
Our vision is “Transformation” and restoring dignity and independence to people who are homeless and/or disadvantaged with a range of complex needs such as addictions, mental health issues and domestic and family violence. We equip our people to powerfully deal with their health, their life, legal issues and reconnection with loved ones so that they are equipped to go back out into the world and live a life they love.
- We specialise in assisting clients with addictions, mental health issues and domestic and family violence situations.
- We believe in helping the whole person. This includes integrating all of the issues under one central case management plan.
The Homeless Problem in Australia
Long-term homelessness is a problem in many communities around the world including Australia. On most nights, there are as many as 116,000 homeless people on the streets in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. The homeless include men, women and children of all ages who are trying to find a bed in shelters or more permanent accommodation.
The Definition of Homeless
Not everyone without a home of their own lives on the streets. Some people who are defined as homeless may have shelter or a place where they are staying each and every night. Those who are considered homeless may be staying with other family or friends, they may live in a caravan or they could be staying in an abandoned building.
Even though they have a place to go to every night or a temporary home, the Australian Bureau of Statistics still considers these people homeless. However, there are many others who do not have shelter at night and have trouble finding places to stay. Shelters for the many that are homeless are not always easy to find.
Why are People Homeless?
There are many reasons that people find themselves homeless. While some people see the homeless as a burden on society or as lazy people who refuse to help themselves, the fact is that anyone could find themselves without a home due to loss of a job; family and domestic violence and family breakdown; limited access to affordable housing; circumstances like natural disasters; poor physical and mental health; or addictions.
Many people live paycheque to paycheque and losing their job would mean finding themselves without the means to pay rent, and they could end up on the street.
Family and domestic violence and the breakdown of families can lead to one partner or a partner and children finding themselves without accommodation. There are almost no shelters or assistance for men escaping domestic violence and there is a great need in our society to support all people who are suffering.
The homeless also include people who are addicted to alcohol, drugs or who have mental health issues, which makes them incapable of holding a job or taking care of their financial responsibilities. There are rehabilitation facilities and shelters for people to get help, but if they aren’t ready to change their lifestyle or acknowledge they need assistance, it can be hard to help them live a healthy and connected life.
Another reason for homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. The housing markets in the largest cities in Australia are tight and expensive. Workers who are living on a tight budget or who have low paying jobs may not be able to afford to pay rent in many areas of these cities. They have to live where they can afford and that often means living in dangerous areas of a city or a long way from where their job is.
What is the Availability of Homeless Shelters?
While there are local homeless shelters in many cities and towns in Australia, there are not enough to accommodate everyone who needs a place to stay. Only about one in seven people will find space in a homeless shelter to spend the night. In many areas of the country, the rate of people being turned away from shelters is increasing. Sometimes the rate of people being refused shelter, including unaccompanied minors, is as high as 70 percent.
In addition, the rise of people escaping instances of family and domestic violence is on the increase and there is a huge gap in support for men and their children escaping this situation.
How People Can Help The Homeless
While it is nice to be able to feed the homeless or offer other outreach services, what is really needed for the chronic long term homeless is supported accommodation facilities where they can be supported to address the underlying issues that have led to their homelessness. Support to deal with trauma, addictions, mental and physical health and legal issues while building community and connections to support them in their recovery journey.
The Sheltered by Grace model relies on donations from individuals and organisations to provide our programs and support and volunteers to run our services and help our clients with life skill retraining. This might include learning to shop for groceries, cook for themselves, budget or save money.
There are many ways that you can help us end homelessness.
If we work together, we can end homelessness, but it is the responsibility of all us to work on a real solution rather than just a band aid.