Another NGO,

Neami Ltd ,

replaces ICHOSS

The graveyard of NGOs who have failed to resolve the homelessness crisis in Sydney City features another fresh mound over the now defunct ICHOSS – which did take a few homeless people off the streets,but in the cold hard light of day must be regarded as an abject failure with reference to solving homelessness. For the several people whom we know were helped into houses by ICHOSS,thank you. We do not apportion responsibility to ICHOSS or its workers, (whom we even saw a couple of times). That responsibility resides with the dysfunctional departments who define industrial relations, homelessness,housing & development policy and ultimately with State & Federal government. It is they who cannot fathom the simple fact that if you place legal impediments in the way of workers seeking sustainable incomes, yet allow uncontrolled escalation of retail and housing costs, you simply raise the bar of affordability.The solutions, unconsidered as yet by any level of government, must include a social housing percentage in all residential property developments, an investors and speculators tax, and conversion of unused commercial to affordable housing or temporary accommodation. Oh,and there needs to be a re-evaluation of “affordable” by NSW Housing Department, with people in the $34000 to $70000 income bracket severely penalised under your current regime -a disincentive to working.

We note that Neami have on their website blurb “Neami aspires to be the leading National Organisation providing mental health services.Neami aims to have an influence so that people with a mental illness are included in Australian Society.” A search of their website produces no information on their history of dealing outside the mental health framework.  Welcome Neami Ltd to Sydney City. You did not get off to a particularly good start. Your 1800505501 number goes to a recorded message,telling people to ring you on the number they just dialled. Your landline 612-9380 9629 , went unanswered, from 9 to 11 a.m. I’m sure that these are just teething problems.The job ahead is to conjure houses,where houses simply don’t exist.Many Sydney Homeless want to live in Sydney City -not Redfern or Waterloo,much less some of the out of Sydney options.Thats not to say that some of Sydneys current homeless people will not want to live elsewhere- some find it preferable.A few would not mind where in Australia they live. We have had a plethora of “Street Workers” spinning lines to us re: housing options, or offering insulting placements in woop woop. It has had the net effect of our homeless people being income generators for NGOs – who after months fail to place the homeless person,or offer them a ludicrous invasive supported accommodation option.

Of course as we have said before there are significant numbers of mental illness affected homeless,and many need supported accommodation. But for many the question is simple- affordable accommodation, where we want to live- no strings attached, no consultants or self aggrandised experts to see . Its that easy. For so long as government and the same tired NGOs continue to use homeless and marginalised people as income generators, homelessness, marginalisation and the feeding frenzy of exotic experts preying thereof,will grow.

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