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2017/18 Federal Budget

The Federal Budget fails to deliver hope to address growing levels of homelessness with No increase in funding for Homelessness services over the next 4 years.
The National Affordable Housing Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness will be repurposed into a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. The change in agreements will not be accompanied by substantive changes to Housing Policy or funding levels.
Despite this lack of vision many in the sector are breathing a heavy sign of relief that the funding allocation is maintained. Funding certainty is critical to service delivery and in the regard at least the Government should be commended.  

First Quarter Client Feedback – The Haymarket Centre

The voice of our clients is very important to us, each quarter we collate feedback on all areas of the organisation. 60 residents gave feedback on their Haymarket Crisis Centre this quarter and here is a snapshot of what they had to say:

98% said that they felt welcome in the service.

88% said they felt safe in the service.

98% said they felt they were treated with dignity and respect.

93% said they felt their rights and privacy were respected.

 

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For the last forty years the Haymarket Foundation has supported the most vulnerable people in Sydney providing medical assistance and crisis accommodation.

Will Brad Hazard be the Lone Ranger?

lone-rangerBrad Hazard may be looking for a silver bullet with his discussion paper into homelessness, but without the support of his parliamentary colleagues he may end up taking a long lonely walk into the sunset. Most people in the homelessness sector recognise that, in order to respond to the growing number of homeless people, agencies must provide a coordinated approach but this is impossible without interdepartmental coordination of policy and funding for service delivery.

According to City of  Sydney statistics rough sleepers are at their highest numb
ers since 2009 and although the State Government and the City of Sydney have worked closely together there is no sign the numbers will decline in the near future. The growing divide been rich and poor and a dwindling middle class is not an Australian phenomenon, indeed it is world wide, but Australia, ‘the lucky country’ is in a position to do something about it if politicians and government agencies face the reality of what is happening. The City of Sydney is a good case study of where coordination between Family and Community Services and NGO partners have been let down by the Federal Government and the NSW Ministry of Health.

Homelessness is the outcome of a wide range of causes including poor education, economic disadvantage, social issues, health complications, mental health, and addictions. Without the treatment of both the presenting issue and its underlying causes long term solutions will not be sustained. Housing without support for health, mental health, addictions, life skills development will always fail with many people ending up back on the streets.

An excellent example of how coordination works can be found in the unique homeless health service provided by the Haymarket Foundation Clinic located in Darlinghurst. The clinic was a pivotal hub for resources that allowed medical and welfare services to be delivered in a way that supported disadvantaged clients to sustain tenancies. In practice this meant that state government funded outreach workers could assist and support a person into a tenancy while a federally funded medical clinic addressed the underlying causes and supported them to maintain and build stability in their tenancy. The clinic staff supported each individual with the administration of medication and a continuity of care for a complex range of issues including hypertension or diabetes while they transitioned from the street into temporary accommodation and then into a long te
rm home.

With the withdrawal of Federal funding for the Haymarket Foundation Clinic, and the subsequent withdrawal of Federal funding for the St Vincent’s Homeless Outreach Team from the end of next week, greater pressure will be placed on the State Government Community Services portfolio. The State Department of Health’s unwillingness to take over the funding from the Commonwealth for these health services leaves the Minister for Family and Community Services alone in facing the choice of whether to only address the element of accommodation and stay within his portfolio, or tackle the underlying issues and stray into the jurisdiction of his ministerial colleagues.

The first is a formula for failure which Minister Hazzard recognises while the second is a path to much improved outcomes with tangible benefits in terms of both human wellbeing and cost savings across those portfolios whose ministers are prepared to turn their back on the socially and economically disadvantaged. Is this what we expect in the land of a ‘fair go for all’?

While minsters shy away from meeting the full cost associated with addressing homelessness, a miserable pittance in terms of State budgeting, research shows that that the homeless cohort costs the community, on average, $13,975 per annum compared to the NSW general population who cost only $2,089 per annum. The provision of general practice and nursing treatment to homeless people in NSW is $1,300 more per annum than the delivery of the same services to the general population thus reducing the cost to the State by $10,000 per annum per person. In the same way that the sector attempts to address the challenge of treating complex health issues while a person is rough-sleeping, it is therefore very cost effective to treat a homeless person’s health and welfare needs on a continuing basis when they have secure accommodation. The resources needed to end homelessness do not fit within one Government Department.  If the NSW Department of Community Services is forced to do all of the heavy lifting we will remain preoccupied with the presenting problem and doomed to repeat history.

End of an Era

The first of July 2016 sees the end of an era. After 40 years of providing medical care – the Haymarket Foundation clinic at Palmer St will be closing its doors.
The ALP has offered us offered funding for 4 years if they win the election which would see us continuing our work with the most vulnerable in the community.
In the meantime we would like to thank all of our friends, supporters colleagues, partners and most importantly our patients. We believe all Australians deserve quality health care and the Haymarket Foundation has focused on providing ongoing care for the marginalised and disadvantaged in our community.
In just the last 5 years ours doctors have supported 1,500 patients, our nurses have cared for over 1,300 patients and welfare team has worked with over 3,000 people… not bad for a little clinic in Darlinghurst…
The Haymarket Foundation will continue to provide Crisis Accomodation, Homelessness Services, Drug and Alcohol Services and Counselling.

Labor Party Commits funds for Haymarket Clinic!

The Haymarket Foundation welcomes the commitment from the Labor party to fund the Clinic $4 million dollars over the course of the next 4 years.

We thank Tanya Plibersek for her visit today and her genuine interest in Sydney’s most vulnerable and less fortunate.

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Homelessness increases while services under threat!

The Haymarket Foundation Clinic provides FREE medical, nursing and welfare services to some 1,200 clients a year!

Our Doctors and nurses provide 3,700 clinical sessions every year to Sydney’s most vulnerable.  

The latest City of Sydney Street count has found 365 people sleeping rough an increase of 5.5% for the same period last year.  Despite the growing demand in homelessness the Haymarket Foundation clinic has not been able to secure funding beyond the transitional funds which expire at the end of April. The Haymarket clinic is just few minutes down the road from the Prime Ministers electorate office and has provided long term assistance for the most vulnerable in our city for the last 40 years.

Follow the Story on ABC News.

Inner City Sydney Registry Week 2015 Report

The Inner City Sydney Registry Week was conducted from 30 November – 2 December 2015. It involved surveying 516 people experiencing homelessness who were either rough sleeping or in crisis accommodation, boarding houses or Temporary Accommodation. Registry Week was coordinated by the City of Sydney, Homelessness NSW, the Mercy Foundation, the Haymarket Foundation and NEAMI and involved the commitment of over 60 community volunteers, inner city Specialist Homelessness Services, DVNSW and Yfoundations and the Department of Family and Community Services.

The 2016 survey is the largest survey of people experiencing homelessness to be undertaken in Australia to date. It is important to note that the survey collects information from people about their experiences of homelessness and their perspective of these experiences. This provides a rich source of information that other homelessness data collection may not provide, however, it should also be considered in conjunction with other data sources.

This report analyses the data from Registry Week 2015 and provides detail in a number of distinct homelessness categories – youth, females, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people over the age of 55 and veterans from the defence forces.

Check out the report here: Registry Week

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The Haymarket Foundation Clinic Report on the Feed 18th of February 2015

The Bourke Street Project 21st of August 2014