Homelessness services across the country, including domestic and family violence crisis accommodation services, are set to have over $56 million cut from their budgets by June 2021 unless the Federal Government agrees to fully fund services.
Homelessness Australia Chair Jenny Smith says “In the last financial year, three in every four people using homelessness services were women and children, many of whom were fleeing family violence.”
“Cutting $56.7 million from homelessness services means there will be more than 500 fewer frontline workers. That will result in more women and children who are fleeing violence and who need help being turned away, putting them at risk of returning to violence or ending up on the street.
“Last year, over 95,000 people missed out on getting support because the resources just weren’t there. Of the 260 people services had to tragically turn away each day, two-thirds of them were women and girls.”
Over 180 CEOs from front line homelessness services and other sector organisations have signed a joint letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, calling on him to reinstate the scheduled budget cuts before the Federal Budget in May.
Homelessness Australia Chair Jenny Smith says cutting funding for services just as demand soars is short-sighted and heartless.
“Homelessness services are already bracing for a huge rise in demand when the JobSeeker payment is drastically reduced at the end of March. Cutting service capacity right when more people will need support, is put simply, cruel,” Smith says.
The $56.7 million relates to Federal funding for Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation for homelessness services.
“The Federal Government has committed ongoing ERO funding to Department of Social Services funded community services and to community legal services, but has not yet committed funding for homelessness services. While the states and territories must continue to pay their half, we need Treasurer Frydenberg to act urgently to protect women and children fleeing violence, and others needing vital homelessness supports.”
Story Source: Council to Homeless Persons