Our Letter Responding to Minister re Foodvan
|Subject||re:3126—Community Services—FOOD DISTRIBUTED TO HOMELESS||Show full header|
We thank you for your response to the question which Ms Hale so eloquently put in behalf of our Sydney Homeless Community, in relation to what your government would do to ensure that the services are maintained at the levels provided by Just Enough Faith prior to that organisations forcible and unexplained siezure by the Office of Liqour Gaming and Racing.
Your unfortunate response is while not unexpected, breathtaking in its demonstration of either your complete lack of understanding or your unwillingness to digress from the demonstrably flawed and costly system of relying almost exclusively on SAAP’s for both advisement as to direction and implementation of delivery systems relating to both homelessness and homelessness prevention in Sydney City. It may interest you to note, for your future reference, that The Matthew Talbot Hostel, which is partly funded by your department(and to which your answer refers us), does not serve women or children.For your further information, The Station Ltd, which you also directed us to, does not cater to anyone under the age of 21.The Station Ltd is also only open Monday to Friday, closes at 2 p.m. and does not serve an evening meal.
Critically, and we would have thought a primary consideration for your department, is that this in fact leaves NOWHERE for adolescent female street people to obtain a free hot evening meal in times of hardship or homelessness. The same applies to families and we believe that the Jefs Corner Foodvan provides a unique timely and critical intervention service, which may well prevent especially adolescents descending into the all too available world of drug dealing or other worse.Many of the patrons of the Jefs Corner Foodvan service are in fact housed low income persons and families, who simply cannot afford the cost of housing associated bills and food. In fact,an agency providing DoCs services,believed to be called “Don Bosco House” also appears to find the Jefs Corner foodvans useful. They have been noted regularly in recent months dropping off groups of young adolescents, and collecting them after they have eaten.Detached youth workers also attend on a virtual daily basis.
We consider that the answers given were address more the aggrandisement of the Federal/State Homeless Intervention Partnership, than the question at hand. However, at 3) paragraph 2 of your answer, we found a statement which clearly indicates your departments intentions. “…homeless people are assisted out of the homelessness cycle rather that sustained in sub-standard conditions. ” is an excerpt from that paragraph.We note that many of the housing services offered by your well funded SAAP partners are in accomodations which either do not meet the minimum requirements of or were specifically designed to circumvent the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, and the ruling case ( Ellis, Linda v City Women’s Hostel  NSWRT 258 (12 November 1997) ; Therefore much accommodation provided by SAAP service providers is also substandard becasue it denies the client the rights of a tenant, and we say these rights are usurped by the SAAP.
When read in conjunction with the Federal Governments Dec 21 announcement of an intention to reduce homelessness only by 50% by 2020; Is it then the intention of your government to not only “NOT provide assistance to the 50 percent of Homeless who will not be housed;” but to destructively intervene without explanation in the delivery operations of those such as Just Enough Faith whom we believe correctly identified and independently addressed an essential community need?
In relation to a possible meeting, given that,as you state,
“The Department’s main aim through SAAP is to connect people to services that offer assistance to transition them to more sustainable options. In meeting with homeless people the Department would seek to understand what type of services people are seeking to assist them to gain more in the long term.”: As you state that your “main aim” is delivery via SAAP,we understand your departmental objectives to be “to use us to justify the existence of your SAAP providers, many of whom have vastly increased their nett worth by providing a daisy chain of ultimately ineffective programs,in the name of assisting us.
The suggested terms of reference which you propose to insert also do not address the issues which Ms Hale so kindly raised on our behalf, but the goals of your department.With respect, may we point out that our initial approach sought to address our concerns,whereas your response is in the context of how your department and its SAAP contractors can use us to fulfil your collective aims, but not consider ours.On those terms we would consider a meeting futile.
-- Sydney Homeless firstname.lastname@example.org https://sydneyhomeless.wordpress.com