Posts from the ‘homeless services’ Category

Protest Sydney Homelessness Industry

Housing Affordability   On June 5th a showcase of the Sydney Poverty Industry called Sydney Homeless Connect will roll out its annual Roadshow at the Sydney Town Hall. For what many regard as “Charities” and “Not For Profits” – organisations which represent themselves to a caring but gullible public and a cynical but cooperative government as “providing homelessness services” – Sydney Homeless Connect is an annual Fishing Competition with the aim being to entrap as many homeless as possible in a cycle of being shuffled from one marginalisation industry monetiser to the other -to drive revenues for the industry participants.

Sydney Homeless call on the Federal Government to immediately cease funding the disastrous inefficient failed $600 million a year  “The Road Home” Program which aims to spend $6.6billion in ten years to halve homelessness -from a completely unquantified index figure. In the about two and a half years since The Road Home was launched Homeless numbers in Sydney City have increased dramatically, despite a flawed Homeless Street Count Methodology. From the outset of the Programs rollout in Sydney City service providers prioritised mental health clients who had recently been tossed out of the Mental Health System – The Federal Government then used The Road Home, a 10 year $600 million a year Homelessness spend, to house those chronic mental health sufferers and claim a reduction in Health budget spending.

Under the Road Home, the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) heavily resources NGOs to provide mandatory “support services” of highly questionable value to clients. Services include much “counselling” and “training” which in practice burden clients with time and travel commitments and merely lead from one of these monetisation processes to the next – Monetising the marginalised.

Under The Road Home qualified Real Estate Agents are also able to raise rents on low quality slum properties to the maximum level Government will pay, while subsidising ex homeless clients. In effect this componemt of The Road Home actually raises rents of private properties. By doing so the Road Home becomes a driver raising the bar of Housing cost.

Sydney Homeless will Rally in Town Hall Square to Protest the Sydney Homeless Connect event to Protest this calculated waste of billions of taxpayers dollars and call for an end to The Road Home. The $600 million a year saved could be used maintaining single parents in their full time capacity as carers , a $700million cut in the Federal Budget.

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blankets4homeless

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A good old friend Jeff Gambin used to tell about the homeless man who offered Jeff his blanket thinking Jeff to be homeless. The simple gesture, common among rough sleepers, caused Jeff to found the most effective Homeless peoples service ever to operate in Sydney. Sadly Just Enough Faith no longer exists but thats another story.

As our  small team of  Sydney Homeless ( we”re homeless too ) do our rounds of our City we look in dismay as some of our homeless brothers and sisters sleep on footpaths & in doorways or where-ever they may be as tiredness overtakes them. A high proportion of them I cannot communicate with – or communication is so disjointed. I do Not know how to help if I cant communicate- & those who specialize in such support are often asleep or indifferent- I do know that if Im freezing in multiple layers of clothes & jackets,they are probably freezing too- at least I can give them a blanket.
 
HOW YOU CAN HELP

COLLECT CLEAN BLANKETS : we will arrange bulk collection Australia wide.

Form a blankets4homeless chapter in your Town or City worldwide. Our Skype network can support all partners worldwide managing inbound cakls for assistance or reports of rough sleepers fron the public. We urge partners to work with orgs but not be used by NFPs to do what they collect gov & dinor $$ for without charge.

contact us @SydneyHomeless

skype: blankets4homeless avail soon
email: sydneyhoneless@letterboxes.org

HOW IT WORKS:
People seeing rough sleepers in public places call our Sjype based call center, giving location

Our blankets4homekess person takes the rough sleeper a blanket. At least they”re a bit warner.If possible our person will assist further.

blankets4homeless people willl accept goodwill donations which they may keep or put into the service ar their discretion

r blankets4honeless is simple & needs little to set up. We are homeless remember? Our version is simply a guy walkung the streets with a remivalusts trolley.Liaded with clean 2nd hand blankets. Backed up by an anon storage donir. And blanket donors. Its that simple

supporting #occupy movement via @occupySYDNEY Twitter.com/occupysydney

A Rock of Charity in an Ocean of deceit

We don’t often have anything good to say about ANY of the corporatised “charities” – especially the majors. It is widely known among the sector how and why their aims of monetising the marginalised has earned them our eternal scorn and contempt. We are more than ready and able to throw shit where it sticks and in doing so, it may be seen to reflect badly on some operators within the sector who have long been stalwart unsung heroes of the marginalised in Sydney. There are some committed people and groups within even the most monetised of the Marginalisation Sector NGO Industry and we’d like to thank one of the genuine, make it up as you go along, old school operations who have spent more days and nights providing essential services to Sydney ‘s homeless and marginalised community than the average low income family living indoors have had nourishing hot dinners in the Howard-Rudd_Gillard era. On the First Sunday evening of every month for many years now an old Nissan Urvan in Salvation Army livery with a distinctive yellow roadworks light appears outside Nicks in Woollo, then later at Martin Place and later at the railway station,sometimes even at Belmore Park. This van, staffed and supported entirely on the resources its small team manage to bring together, provides the only freely available eyesight tests-oh yes-and glasses available on the Streets. This is old school Salvos,a regrettably rare relic from bygone times when The Salvation Army were a genuine charity, not a thinly disguised business masquerading as a Not-for-Profit. This small group are from the era when Churches prayed,not prey as they do today. Over the years countless homeless,many who had long ago resigned themselves to never enjoying a good read ever again,due to government (and government funded) services being a quantum leap short of the abyss width between the rhetoric and hyperbole of government / NGO hyperbole -compared with the crushing demeaning reality of meanspirited minimalist delivery, have been quickly given a new lease of sight by this apparently cavalier but deeply committed crew of genuine stalwarts. Stalwarts whose good work is consistently being diminished by the money first antics of their associated Job Network and  parasitic family destroying Oasis divisions. Are this small band who do so much for the homeless community the last genuine Salvos?? We hope not. Now, we spend a lot of time telling people NOT to give to the poverty industry-but next time you’re approached by a Salvo check his nametag.If it says Major Hilton Harmer, open your heart,open your mind and empty your wallet.The man quietly does what all the spin & rhetoric makers can only hope to do -without the millions of your tax dollars squandered annually by the pariah poverty industry.Your money goes where its needed. To Major Harmer and his merry band of volunteers merry christmas,from a grateful SydneyHomeless community .

Prayers Preying on Rough Sleepers

 This past week serial preyer on marginalised people Mission Australia’s Missionbeat unit, assisted an organisation we’ve never heard of,Mercy Foundation, to conduct a “survey” of Sydney “Rough sleepers”. The City of Sydney usually have some involvement also.

We were highly amused at the results as published Nov 3. 262 “known homeless” in Sydney.Our current rough sleepers far exceed 500. This has a lot to do with the “Surveyors” methodology. Many “night-sleeping” rough sleepers are “mobile” by 0430 hrs, when they started their count. But most of the elderly rough sleepers and many aged 14-25 sleep during the day.  In addition, we admit warning many NOT to co-operate with the survey because the benefits will flow to the government and NGOs while mere scraps are doled out to our community.

  We were less than amused with the “researchers”  methodologies, so checked out perpetrators.The Mercy Foundation website indicates that they are a “Grants” awarding body of the Catholic Church who,in 2008,decided to become involved in “homelessness”.Right about when the federal government were formulating their huge waste of taxpayers money for their “The Road Home” disaster.We don’t know if Mercy Foundation co-ordinated this survey Australia wide, or how much they were paid to do it. They were assisted by long term business masquerading as a charity and Serco wannabe Mission Australia – who have organised the past two “Rough Sleeper counts” and we suspect been instrumental in Police visiting those campsites and sleeper locations about a fortnight later, moving many on in defiance of the NSW Homeless Protocol But you can bet the survey will be carefully massaged to further use rough sleepers as tokens to collect tax and corporate dollars with -to be spent on NGO infrastructure, staff  “research” and “consulting” needs.

Not only did they have the temerity to deprive those who wanted to of appropriate sleep by “waking them up”, these gung ho, unqualified intruders took photos. Consent given when the subject has just woken up does NOT constitute informed consent.

  The final insult is the $10 “payment” made to Rough Sleeper respondents-for three successive nights of invasive prying. Our inquiries revealed that the standard payment rate for survey completion in a face to face setting ranges from $30 to $150. These researchers, typical of the Poverty industry, chose to undervalue homeless people again -as is the norm of their profiteering business model.  

  As none of the listed organisations is noted for its research quality, we called two well known pollsters and a supporter, a mathematician and statistician who happens to lecture in research methodologies. None were able to hazard a guess as to what part photos may play in genuine statistical research. I then asked how useful various government agencies including police and immigration might find photos in an effort to deduce a logical and ethical reason for these ‘researchers” taking photos. In each case my question was met with a darkened acknowledgement that there were “other government” opportunities but all stated that such collection methods, while not illegal, were most certainly unethical. The point was also raised that these photos could be used as fundraising and promotional material by the various agencies who are aligned with this project.

  The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the perpetrators of this “Survey” as saying “Unlike the common public perception, most homeless people do not want to be homeless.” In our experience and with our broad base of over 5000 contacts we asked -and the response was 100% that they DO NOT see homeless people as “wanting to be homeless.” While we agree as but a few say they “choose to be homeless whatever the options,” this does not mean that any form of accommodation is an acceptable “solution.” Unaddressed is “How many will remain homeless in preference to living in Supported Accommodation Assisted Program Housing” with its onerous case management structures attached.How many are unwilling to cling to the flimsy thread of short 6 monthly leases, to be flung out at the whim of a gung ho realtor or greedy landlord? In Australia,by agreement between the Poverty Industry and government SAAP is the major gateway to public housing and involves an invasive (and for the taxpayer expensive) case management service whose role is to find out how many government departments and NGOs might be able to use this person as tokens to collect further copious amounts of public money for themselves or their employer. While some homeless people identify some of the “services” as useful, many do not-in fact regarding them as draconian obligations. Also unaddressed is Rough Sleepers correct perceptions of the onerous extra obligations placed on Social Housing Tenants by State Labor driven modifications to the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 1987 -placing obligations on Social Housing Tenants which other tenants do not have and giving the Marie Antoinette and aboriginal embarassment of NSW Politics Linda Burneys Housing NSW powers which other landlords do not enjoy. For me personally, I will not faithfully report each and every person who stays at my house to Housing -or anyone else.Either I pay and control the property, or I don’t pay-simple.

Sydney Homeless rejecting Pay-to-Stay Jails

Since the commencement of The Rudd-Gillard Labor Governments “The Road Home” Homelessness plan over a year ago, and the NSW State Governments “Reducing Homelessness in NSW” 2009-2014 Plan, we have seen many disillusioned homeless people enter the schemes devised to house homeless, stay a while, then end up back on the Street.We have noted numerous agencies,funded on the basis of the number of “services” they provide, jockeying to collect data from our homeless community members, dangling vague promises of “housing” while at best offering squalid overpriced and under-serviced death-traps and health-hazard zones as bridging accommodation.We have yet to identify a single long term tenancy secured for a homeless person in the Sydney CBD-which is where we live.

Spent much of this morning at a barbecue spot we use enjoying breakfast with 17 homeless guys who have tried, and rejected Federal/State Government Social Housing.7 were in Supported Accommodation Assistance Program placements, 10 in various State or Community Housing offerings. Here are their reasons for rejecting social housing options offered.

1/ NSW Dept of Housing had coerced the client into accepting an unaffordable private rental agreement in a boarding house, then told the client that they were housed now and therefore no longer eligible for Social Housing. (1 case).

2/ The social housing provided was in an unfamiliar area with difficult or expensive transport access. 3 continued to live at least part time on streets. (6 cases).

3/ I knew no one in the area and only got to see these outreach or social workers.The places they suggested I go were just other agencies.(4 people).

4/ If I wanted to live by jail rules,I’d just mug someone and go to jail. (1 person).

5/ I’m not going to shut the door and die in silence (1 person).

6/By the time I pay the bills I have nothing left.(9 people).

7/I’m not living by their rules (4 people).

8/ I can’t have my friends over (noise & accessibility a major factor) (11 people)

All of the above are currently homeless, on a form of Welfare, in the Sydney City Council area.4 say they have drug or alcohol histories (current or past).None stated a history of Mental Health. They are by no means the only homeless known to have rejected current social housing options.All agree that they want housing-but not subject to draconian terms and conditions.

In an informal group discussion a consensus description of Pay-to-Stay Jails was given to the pro-offered social housing options.The term was coined and universally applied by those who had rejected invasive SAAP programs.

13 of the 17 said that they were now much worse off as a result of participating in these programs. These 13 identified debts which they had incurred and would have to pay while living on the streets,such as expensive utilities. All agree that they have virtually no prospect of receiving further “government assistance”

There was almost universal agreement that what they received was not what was initially promoted to them. 1 SAAP client disagreed.

Homeless-Help needed with “Special Diet” Resources

We are putting together a “Getting Food” Guide for homeless people,listing the addresses or means of contact times and places,for Sydney and other areas too.

  • We need to know about the service your organisation offer.
  • We are especially interested in hearing from providers of vegan kosher halal or other specialised dietary cuisine services for marginalised people from those respective communities. Contact us via blog or @SydneyHomeless on Twitter

Ripping off HousingNSW

As NSW Government super department Human Services seeks to micromanage the lives of marginalised families and communities for Australian & NSW Governments capitalist ideal -the Wageslave Farm, the ripoffs of your taxpayers dollar continue unabated from the leaky sieve of NSW Governance. HousingNSW is the States biggest residential property landlord (by residential properties leased) and now,it seems, HousingNSW is also the States largest residential tenant.

We’ve been aware of the distance between both Federal and State budget appropriation figures for social housing – huge budgets, which shrink inexplicably when measured against the actual social housing incomes. Inexplicably if one uses prevailing market prices as guidance of housing unit acquisition.

But the Treasury geniuses in Canberra and MacQuarrie St are no longer just  buying properties, in their ingenuity, they have decided to burden taxpayers for the longer term with recurrent rental arrangements -arrangements which are sure to drive residential property prices ever skyward as the ever greedy investors continue to buy borderline habitable properties to rent for maximum market rental to the gullible minions of NSWHousing.

Rort a)

How it works:

NSW Housing have selected realtors in a closed market arrangement, as area providers of rental properties. These realtors are supposed to charge NSWHousing “80% of market rent” but with no quantification of a formula by which to calculate market rent.Simple.Property “real” market rent is $450 per week. Agency advertises property for rent at $650,minus 20%, thats $520 per week- an  actual $70 above market payment.

What should be happening: (assumes HousingNSW should be renting,another issue completely)

  • All available rental properties in an area should be considered, not just the stock held by one,or a particular group of realtors.This would include direct owner-to-department rentals.
  • Properties would be selected on the basis of value as HousingNSW needs to accumulate stock.
  • A price cap per area would be applied on the basis of property configuration,and the last months rentals across the area (based on security bond lodgements).Rental would be 80% of that figure.
  • All properties to be pre-inspected professionally for health safety and maintenance compliance.

Following confidential discussions with a current realtor employee, we can say that this agent consistently engages in this pricing duplicity.This agent even has a related party purchase properties which are on-sold within months on to grateful new investors,at a reasonable profit to the realtor related parties.

On the basis of rents notified to tenants, cross referenced to Real Estate .com.au and Domain.com.au , we have found that actual rents paid by the department are consistently higher than the average for the area -not the “80% pf market value we are led to believe” and the properties we visited are invariably below average in appearance, badly located,and sometimes badly maintained compared to the area norm.Of the 48 properties used in our sample,just two,in the Newcastle area appeared at below “market rental.” A further online archive search of the properties concerned showed that many properties leased for $100 or more per week less a mere 6 months previously.1 property was rented to House-O for $220 more than last advertised.

Our concern is for the gross waste of taxpayers funds,and also that those funds could buy much better value, while not driving private housing purchase and rental affordability beyond the reach of even workers and working families.

Rort b) This ones even better:

HousingNSW also rents ‘temporary accommodation’. I don’t know whether they actually check the quality liveability or fair pricing of these temporary accommodation solutions, and I’m sure the majority are properly priced and maintained – but some clearly are not.

We have had many homeless men and women-even family groups-prefer to sleep on the streets when faced with the unsanitary, unhealthy or illegally dangerous accommodation solutions HousingNSW pro-offer as Temporary emergency accommodation.

The cockroach infestations and bedbugs many report from Wesley Mission owned Edward Eagar Lodge in Surry Hills are comparative non issues. Naked electrical wiring, rising damp, stinking carpet, filthy urinals, syringes, and inappropriate management or staff behaviours are the norm- coupled with “terms and conditions” which state that HousingNSW will not assist you further “if you do not get along with the landlord.”

The ripoff?? $460 per week for a single smelly room which many have walked out of in disgust. Double that if 2 people occupy the room.

Several properties have been notified to us but none as often, or as loudly, as Tivoli Accommodation 205 Cleveland St
Redfern NSW. Owned since 2002 by JU’NEE PROPERTIES PTY. LTD. & TIVOLI DEVELOPMENTS PTY. LIMITED,We have received reports concerning this hellhole,which HousingNSW has no qualms in sending junkies and young families to co occupy,since 2003.Its remarkable that none of these people who have complained to us have not complained to HousingNSW,and even more remarkable that, if they had, HousingNSW still persist in sending people there. We are continuing our checks to try to understand more fully the precise relationship between HousingNSW , its officers, The NSW Labor Party and the above identified businesses and their proprietors. The place makes Fawlty Towers look downright respectable and Smoky Mountain look hygenic.

Our checks of several other motel/guest type accommodations we are aware of reveal that these premises are rented at advertised peak market rates. WOTIF and several other booking engines all confirm the same price. I wonder how many millions of your hard earned Tax Dollars evaporate in practices like these?? Shonky businesses & cohorts ripping of Housing NSW -willingly or not,Housing NSW ripping off the Taxpayer Homeless & Marginalised

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