Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan

 
Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan
Brisbane
Homelessness Community Action Plan
Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan
This Homelessness Community Action Plan is delivered in
a partnership involving the Department of Communities, the
Queensland Council of Social Service and the local community.
The Homelessness Community Action Plan initiative is part of the
National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. The funding has
been provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments.
Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan
Brisbane

Homelessness Community Action
Plan

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Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan overview

2. Brisbane location profile

3. Brisbane homelessness profile

4. Brisbane homelessness service system strengths and challenges

5. Priority areas for action

6. Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan actions

7. Reporting and Governance

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Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan
1. Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan Overview

The areas shaded on the map below (and highlighted in colour on the inside cover map) outline
the boundary for Homelessness Community Action Planning in Brisbane.

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Home is more than a roof over your head, and homelessness is more than a lack of
accommodation. The work of ending homelessness is varied and complex. It’s about
recognising the many circumstances that place people at risk or cause them to become
homeless. It’s about providing services that help people to cope with the difficulties in their lives.
It’s about enabling people to secure and stay in housing for the long-term. People may come
into contact with a broad range of government and non-government services before they
become homeless, and collectively, we must ensure these services work to support people so
they can avoid losing their homes.

In the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan the principles of a No Wrong Door 1
approach will be implemented. Through this approach access to a range of services should be
readily available to homeless people or those at risk of homelessness. These services will assist
people in these circumstances to stabilise their lives, find employment and secure housing.

In 2008 the Australian Government released its White Paper, The Road Home: A National
Approach to Reducing Homelessness. 2 The Road Home declares ‘In a country as prosperous
as Australia, no one should be homeless’ and challenges us to think about ending
homelessness, rather than just managing it. The Road Home asks us to get together as
communities and find innovative solutions to end and prevent homelessness. By drawing on the
best examples, The Road Home points out that the plight of homeless people can be improved
greatly if we can build systems that better coordinate and integrate services to meet their
immediate, medium and long-term needs.

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan seeks to do just this. The actions identified
in the plan encourage government, community service providers and the broader community to
support, and build on, the extensive work already achieved in delivering better coordinated
services that will in turn deliver better outcomes for homeless people or people at risk of
homelessness in Brisbane.

This plan has a particular focus on: the inner city comprising the Central Business District, the
inner southern and inner northern suburbs of Brisbane, the south west corridor from Acacia
Ridge through to Inala, Forest Lake and Ellengrove (formerly Carole Park), and the outer north

1
  Information on the No Wrong Door approach can be accessed at:
http://www.communitydoor.org.au/nowrongdoor.
2
  The Road Home can be accessed at:
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/progserv/homelessness/whitepaper/Documents/default.htm.
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from Chermside through to Zillmere and out to the eastern suburbs of Brighton, Taigum,
Bracken Ridge and Sandgate.

By working in partnership and with a positive outlook the Brisbane Homelessness Community
Action Plan will be a key contributor to ongoing efforts to bring about real and lasting change for
people who are experiencing or living near the edge of homelessness.

1.1.   Homelessness Community Action Plans – a place-based approach to reducing
       homelessness

Working in partnership
Homelessness Community Action Plans are being implemented in seven homelessness ‘hot
spots’ throughout Queensland, including Brisbane. The other six locations are:
Caboolture/Deception Bay/Morayfield, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Mount Isa and
Toowoomba. The development and implementation of the plans is a three year initiative (2010-
2013) funded through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and delivered in
partnership by the Department of Communities and the Queensland Council of Social Service.

This partnership has been made possible by a number of developments in recent years. These
include the impact of The Road Home and the National Partnership Agreement on
Homelessness, as well as the Queensland Government’s 2008 priorities statement – Toward
Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland. 3 Toward Q2 describes the government’s key priorities, one of
which is to mobilise a whole-of-community approach to tackle disadvantage and create safer,
fairer and more supportive communities. Homelessness clearly belongs to this priority area.

However, the most significant development has been the implementation of the Queensland
Compact. 4 Officially launched in November 2008, the Compact is a partnership agreement
between the not-for profit community services sector and the Queensland Government that
promotes the sector and government working together to achieve a fairer society. It signifies a
‘fresh start’ to non-government and government collaboration in Queensland. The development
and implementation of these Homelessness Community Action Plans is a demonstration project
under the Compact.

3
 Toward Q2 can be accessed at: http://www.towardq2.qld.gov.au/tomorrow/index.aspx
4
 The Queensland Compact can be accessed at
http://www.communityservices.qld.gov.au/department/about/corporate-plans/queensland-compact/
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Developing the model
The development of and implementation of Homelessness Community Action Plans is being
delivered through a unique model. The model was established – with the Compact providing the
basic principles – in a variety of settings by representatives from the Department of
Communities, the Queensland Homelessness Intersectoral Forum, the Queensland Council of
Social Service, Queensland Shelter, local government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
organisations and homelessness service providers.

The model is based on 14 locally-based coordinators working with local stakeholders to develop
and implement a plan that is centred on delivering positive outcomes for people who are
experiencing or living near the edge of homelessness. Seven coordinators work within the
Department of Communities (Queensland Government Homelessness Coordinators) and the
other seven are based in the Queensland Council of Social Service (Homelessness Planning
and Coordination Officers).

These coordinators engaged with the local community through community forums, targeted
workshops and face-to-face meetings to bring together the key players who have developed the
action plans. These coordinators will continue to provide vital support to government and non-
government organisations who have agreed to participate in delivering outcomes through the
action plans.

Locally-owned plans
A key ingredient in the development and implementation of the Homelessness Community
Action Plans is that they are owned by the local community – government and non-government
equally. The plans are practical ways to bring whole communities – such as Brisbane – together
to map out and find the best way forward for tackling homelessness. The Brisbane
Homelessness Community Action Plan has been produced and will be implemented by a wide
range of interested people and organisations. The plan is a true ‘living document’. It has targets
to be reached and goals to be achieved, capable of reflecting changing circumstances.

It is hoped that the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan will become the foundation
over the next ten years to guide our response to reducing, and perhaps ending, homelessness
in places such as Brisbane.

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1.2.     Opening Doors: Queensland Strategy for Reducing Homelessness 2011-2014
Opening Doors: Queensland Strategy for Reducing Homelessness 2011-2014 was released by
the Queensland Government on 21 July 2011. Opening Doors builds on The Road Home to
provide key strategic directions for reducing homelessness in Queensland over the next few
years. 5 The vision of the strategy is ‘To end homelessness by ensuring every Queenslander is
empowered to find and keep a home’. This vision will be achieved through building on past and
current successes and by focussing effort on three key strategic priority areas over the next
three years. Headline reforms also inform the intent of each of the three key strategic priority
areas:

1. Helping people avoid becoming homeless — by improving housing outcomes for people
    exiting health facilities, child safety arrangements, prisons, and youth detention facilities.
    Headline reform: Reduce exits into homelessness.

2. Helping people get ahead — by ensuring people who are homeless or at risk of
    homelessness have access to safe, affordable, well-located and appropriate housing
    together with support and increased opportunities to get ahead through participation in
    education, training and employment.
    Headline reform: Adopting a housing first approach.

3. Working together for stronger services — by better coordinating and integrating policies,
    programs and services, using and sharing data, and improving local case coordination.
    Headline reform: Realignment of specialist homelessness services.

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan will implement actions that will contribute
to achieving positive results against these key strategic priority areas and headline reforms.
Through extensive community consultation the plan establishes targets that we will work toward
achieving within the timeframe of the Opening Doors strategy and beyond.

5
 Opening Doors: Queensland Strategy for Reducing Homelessness 2011-2014 can be accessed at
http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/housing/community-and-homelessness-programs/homelessness-
programs/reducing-homelessness-in-queensland/opening-doors-queensland-strategy-for-reducing-
homelessness-2011-14.
For The Road Home see the associated documents: The National Partnership Agreement on
Homelessness, which can be accessed at
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/progserv/homelessness/national_partnership_agreement/Pages/NP
AHomelessness.aspx and the Queensland’s Implementation Plan for the National Partnership Agreement
on Homelessness, which can be accessed at: http://www.public-
housing.qld.gov.au/programs/homelessness/reducing/plan.htm.
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2. Brisbane – location profile 6

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan focuses on three ‘hot spot’ locations: the
inner city which comprises suburbs in the inner north, south and the Central Business District,
the south west corridor including Acacia Ridge, Inala/ Durack, Doollandella/ Forest Lake and
Ellengrove (formerly Carole Park), and the outer north suburbs including Chermside, Zillmere,
Brighton, Taigum/ Fitzgibbon, Bracken Ridge and Sandgate.

The local government area of Brisbane City has a total area of 1,340.3 km2, or 0.1% of the total
area of the state. The estimated resident population of Brisbane City at 30 June 2010 was
1,067,279 persons, or 23.6% of the state's population. Projected population to 2011 for the
three target locations for the Homelessness Community Action Plan in Brisbane City include:
69,046 for inner Brisbane 50,270 for the south west corridor and 46,664 for the outer north.

At the time of the 2006 Census there were:

•   12,943 persons who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin in Brisbane City,
    amounting to 1.4% of the total population (compared to the 3.6% Queensland average). This
    includes:
    o   659 inner city, ranging from 0.6% of the population in the inner city and remainder to
        2.2% at West End,
    o   1,896 in the south west, ranging from 1.7% at Doolloondella to 10.8% at Carole Park,
    o   1,080 in the outer north, ranging from around 1.1% at Taigum to 3.7% at Zillmere.

•   24% of persons stated they were born overseas in Brisbane City, with the inner city suburbs
    averaging around 29% south western suburbs around 30% and outer northern suburbs
    around 20%.

•   7.2% of the usual resident population in Brisbane City experienced a high level of
    disadvantage relative to the rest of the state, with the south west corridor including six
    Statistical Local Areas of highest level of disadvantage. Zillmere and Chermside in the outer
    north also experience the highest level of disadvantage according to the Social and
    Economic Index for areas.

6
 Section 3 is based on data extracted from: Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland
Treasury, Queensland Regional Profiles, Brisbane City, based on local government area (2010). This
profile can be accessed at: http://statistics.oesr.qld.gov.au/qld-regional-profiles.
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The smoothed unemployment rate for Brisbane City in the June quarter 2011 was 4.3% though
significantly higher in the target locations: with inner city ranging from 4% at Kelvin Grove to
8.7% at Woolloongabba, south west from 4.4% at Ellen Grove to 11.2% at Inala, and outer north
from 5% at Bracken Ridge, Brighton and Sandgate to 6.6% at Chermside.
.
At the time of the 2006 Census, health care and social assistance were the largest industries of
employment for Brisbane City usual residents, with 11.4% of the region's employed labour force.
In the inner city, people are more likely to be employed in a professional field. In the south west,
manufacturing was the largest industry for employment of residents. In the outer-north, health
care and social assistance were the largest industry for employment of residents, followed
closely by retail and manufacturing.

In 2008-09, there were 107,401 businesses in Brisbane City, 25.6% of all Queensland
businesses. This included 16,177 in the inner city (3.9% of the Queensland total), 3,061 in the
outer north (0.7% of the Queensland total), and 1,774 in the south west (0.4 % of the
Queensland total).

At the time of the 2006 Census, 353,009 people occupied private dwellings in Brisbane
City Local Government Area, representing 25.4% of Queensland's total occupied private
dwellings. Of these dwellings 106,584 were fully owned (30.2% of the total), 115,252 were being
purchased (32.6% of the total) and 119,643 were being rented (33.9% of the total).
Government-owned housing accounts for 11.1% of all rental properties in Brisbane.

There are significantly lower levels of home ownership in the inner city, with 14.3% of dwellings
fully owned, 16% being purchased and associated higher levels of renting (53%) which may be
associated with the gentrification and increased density development of student apartments in
the inner city suburbs. Suburbs such as Bowen Hills and Woolloongabba also have higher
proportion of state-owned rental properties (16.8% and 15.5% respectively).

In the south west, there is a slightly lower level of home ownership with 26.2% of properties fully
owned, 28.5% being purchased and 33.9% being rented. Of the rental properties, there is a
larger proportion of public rental (40.6%) with the proportion extremely higher in the former
Carole Park (76.6%) and Inala (63%). In the outer north, 29% of properties are fully owned,
28.4% being purchased and 35.5% rented, and 18.1% state-owned rental properties

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Zillmere and Chermside have a higher proportion of state-owned rental properties with 37.3%
and 24.6% respectively. Chermside also has a considerably higher proportion of rental
properties overall (55.1%) which may be an outcome of increased density housing as part of the
move to Transport Oriented Development around major transport interchanges such as
Chermside Shopping Centre.

3. Brisbane homelessness profile

3.1.   Defining homelessness
Defining homelessness can be challenging – people and organisations have diverse ideas
about what constitutes homelessness and, over time, different definitions have been proposed
to try to capture the range of circumstances that might be considered ‘homelessness’. The most
common definition in use across Australia was developed by Professor Chris Chamberlain and
Associate Professor David Mackenzie and is used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Three
broad types of homelessness are identified:

Primary homelessness
Primary homelessness applies when a person lives on the street, sleeps in parks, squats in
derelict buildings, or uses cars or railway carriages for temporary shelter.

Secondary homelessness
Secondary homelessness is used to describe people who move frequently from one form of
temporary shelter to another. Secondary homelessness applies to people using emergency
accommodation, youth refuges or women’s refuges, people residing temporarily with relatives or
with friends (because they have no accommodation of their own), and people using boarding
houses on an occasional or intermittent basis (up to 12 weeks).

Tertiary homelessness
Tertiary homelessness is used to describe people who live in premises where they don’t have
the security of a lease guaranteeing them accommodation, nor access to basic private facilities
(such as a private bathroom, kitchen or living space). It can include people living in boarding
houses on a medium to long-term basis (more than 13 weeks) or in caravan parks.

3.2.   Homelessness in Brisbane
On Census night 2006 in Queensland there were 26,782 homeless people. This number is
disproportionately high with the state accounting for 26% of total Australian homelessness and
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recording a rate of 69 homeless persons per 10,000 of the population, compared to a national
rate of 53. In Brisbane 5,395 people were recorded as homeless and the rate of homelessness
was 56 per 10,000. 7

Table one outlines the number of homeless people and the rate per 10,000 of the population for
Brisbane City.

Table 1: Homeless people in Brisbane City – number and rate per 10,000 of the
population
                    Inner city    North west       South east    North west    South east         Total
                     Brisbane       inner            inner         outer         inner
Number             2,070         774              616           1,047         888           5,395
Rate               246           44               41            33            39            56

The inner city target location for the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan reflects
the boundaries for inner Brisbane, while both south west and outer north are captured by the
north west outer.

Table two outlines people in different sectors of the homelessness population, Brisbane City.
The data clearly shows that significantly less people identified as homeless in Brisbane are
accommodated in improvised dwellings compared to the state and national figures. However,
significantly more people than in the state or national contexts are accommodated in boarding
houses.

Table 2: Homeless persons by accommodation type
                                      Brisbane              Queensland                Australia
            Type
                                  No.             %         No.        %         No.              %
    Boarding house               2,135           40       5,438       20       21, 596           20
    SAAP                         1,018           19        3,233       12      19,849            19
    Friends/relatives            1,855           34       12,946       49      46,856            45
    Improvised dwellings          387             7        5,165       19      16,375            16
    Total                        5,395           100      26,782      100      104,676           100

The highest numbers of residents in boarding houses (952) are in the inner city which
represents almost 60% of the Brisbane regional total. There are particularly high numbers in

7
 Unless indicated otherwise, the data in section 3. is drawn from Chris Chamberlain and David
Mackenzie, Counting the Homeless 2006 Queensland, Canberra, Australian Institute of Health and
Welfare, June 2009
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New Farm (228), Spring Hill (215) and Fortitude Valley (153). There are also a few remaining
boarding houses in the outer north.

There are 546 long-term residents of caravan parks and 198 who have been resident in caravan
parks for less than one year in the south west suburbs of Inala and Durack areas. In the outer
north there are also 469 long term residents of caravan parks and 437 who have been resident
in caravan parks for less than one year in the Aspley, Brighton, Zillmere and Taigum areas.

Homelessness is an extremely complex phenomenon. Factors identified as increasingly
important in ‘predicting’ the likelihood of a person experiencing an episode/s of homelessness
include family breakdown, domestic and family violence, poverty and unemployment, and the
consequences of mental illness. These factors are often experienced in combination.

This is as true for Brisbane as for any other place in Australia and beyond. While definitive
research is lacking on the causes of homelessness in Brisbane it is nevertheless possible to
make some educated guesses based on available data and local knowledge. Homelessness in
Brisbane may be particularly influenced by a range of factors and events if not unique to the
area, then of perhaps greater significance than for other places in Queensland and Australia.

Outcomes of a survey of 249 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and rough
sleeping conducted in Brisbane metropolitan area as part of the 50 Lives 50 Homes project
included:

•   118 people reported a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse
•   66 people reported a history only of substance abuse
•   18 people reported only signs or symptoms of mental illness
•   202 (87%) of respondents report at least one behavioural health issue
•   105 people reported intravenous drug use
•   31 respondents were under 25 years old, with all but one reported injection drug use
•   59 (26%) respondents reported having a history of foster care or institutional care as a child
•   17 individuals reported being employed
•   83 individuals report receiving the disability support pension
•   14 individuals report receiving the aged pension
•   16 individuals report no income
•   109 people reported having been to prison

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•   48 individuals identified as Aboriginal, and
•   19 individuals identified as New Zealanders, many of whom are unable to access income
    support assistance as they are non-residents.

Gentrification in the inner city has also seen the loss of low cost housing and the further
marginalisation of people with high and complex needs who are living in the remaining inner city
boarding houses. Drop-in services such as 139 Club and outreach food vans report that a large
proportion of service users are residents of boarding houses who are unable to meet the basic
needs of food and clothing.

There is also a high risk of homelessness for people in the outer north and south west who are
tenuously accommodated. There are 546 long-term residents of caravan parks and 198 who
have been resident in caravan parks for less than one year in the Inala and Durack areas. In the
outer north there are also 469 long-term residents of caravan parks and 437 who have been
resident in caravan parks for less than one year in the Aspley, Brighton, Zillmere and Taigum
areas.

Reports to the National Data Collection Agency (NDCA) 8 identified that women who where
accessing assistance from specialist homelessness services targeted to women escaping
domestic and family violence identified their previous location as the outer areas of identified
high need including the south west corridor. In the south west, the people seeking assistance
from the family accommodation and youth accommodation services named relationship
breakdown while those seeking assistance from the early intervention service were most
frequently experiencing financial difficulty. In the inner city, specialist homelessness services
reported to the NDCA that the most frequently nominated previous location offered by clients
was the inner city area, similarly the outer north and south west reported previous location as
being in the local area.

Across all areas, young people had previously been in public housing or rough sleeping.
Anecdotal information indicates that young people may become homeless as an outcome of
overcrowding in the family home and/or limited alternative accommodation options for singles.

8
  This data is taken from the summary information received by the National Data Collection Agency from
specialist homelessness services in the target locations for the Brisbane Homelessness Community
Action Plan for the period 01/07/2008 and 30/06/2009. As such, it is indicative as it relates only to
individuals who have accessed these services.
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In the outer north, most seeking assistance from services targeted to families named domestic
and family violence while the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders service clients named
eviction or time out as their reason for seeking assistance. More frequently they had been in
private, public or community rental housing and most were recipients of a parenting welfare
payment.

Service providers in the outer areas also report that the level of homelessness is not easily
quantified. They reported seeing increasing numbers of people who are sleeping in cars or who
are couch surfing. The outer north and south west have fewer homelessness services and an
absence of identifiable entry points into the homelessness service system.

Conversely, the inner city has traditionally been the location of homelessness crisis services
which includes accommodation and non-accommodation services and voluntary services
providing basic food and clothing, which is predominantly targeted to single adults who are
chronically homeless and/or rough sleeping.

Of the total 78 homelessness services in Brisbane region, 28 are located in the inner city area,
six in the outer north and four in the south west corridor. The inner city is the location for most of
the crisis accommodation and support services and the two information referral and assessment
services. An initial resource mapping undertaken by Under 1 Roof in the inner city identified that
the greater majority of capacity of members was in information, assessment and referral with
limited capacity for tenancy sustainment.

3.3.   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Homelessness in Brisbane
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples disproportionately experience homelessness in
Queensland. In the 2006 Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples comprised 3.6%
of the total population but accounted for 8% of the state’s homeless people.

While the proportion of the population who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
background in Brisbane is below that of the state, the Brisbane area has the third largest
Indigenous population in absolute numbers, behind Far North Queensland and North
Queensland.

In Brisbane, there were 670 homeless people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
background which represents 30% of the state’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
homeless. 32% were in the inner city, with 39% sleeping rough. In the 2006 Census it appears
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that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are much more likely to be living in Supported
Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) accommodation as outlined in table three.

Table 3: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homeless persons by accommodation type
           Type                  Non-Aboriginal and             Aboriginal and Torres Strait
                                Torres Strait Islander                     Islander
                                 No.             %                   No.                   %
Boarding House                  2,235           30                   150                  22
SAAP                            1,138           16                   270                  40
Friends / relatives             3,425           47                   145                  22
Improvised dwellings             486             7                   105                  16
Total                           7,284           100                  670                  100

4. Brisbane homelessness service system strengths and challenges

A series of consultations held between October 2010 and September 2011 in Brisbane
identified the strengths of, and the challenges experienced by, government and non-government
organisations in tackling homelessness, or preventing people from becoming homeless.
Building on these strengths and overcoming these challenges comprises the actions detailed in
the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan.

Actions and issues identified through the engagement phase of the Brisbane Homelessness
Community Action Planning process were grouped into ten themes. The themes align with the
key priority areas of Opening Doors (see section 1.2). The themes are:

1. Prevent eviction from all kinds of tenure.
2. Transition and maintain people exiting statutory care/correctional and health facilities into
   appropriate long term accommodation.
3. Improve models of service integration by homelessness and mainstream services.
4. Build the capacity of the workforce to deliver integrated services.
5. Improve and better utilise homelessness data and evidence based response to
   homelessness.
6. Promote partnerships between all levels of government, business, consumers and the not
   for profit sector.
7. Increase and upgrade supply of affordable and social housing.
8. Provide models of accommodation with support that are suitable for different target groups.

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9. Provide safe, appropriate long-term accommodation and or support to people experiencing
    domestic, family violence relationships and family breakdown at key transition points.
10. Streamline access to crisis accommodation and specialist homelessness services.

In identifying these ten themes a wealth of input from community stakeholders was generated
through a variety of consultation and engagement events. An analysis of this input revealed that
overall for the three areas the top three themes were:

•   improve models of service integration by homelessness and mainstream services (27% of
    responses)
•   provide models of accommodation with support that are suitable for different target groups
    (15% of responses), and
•   prevent eviction for all kinds of tenure (13% of responses).

In the south western area of Brisbane the top three themes identified were:

•   improve models of service integration by homelessness and mainstream services (45% of
    responses)
•   prevent eviction from all kinds of tenure (12% of responses), and
•   streamline access to crisis accommodation and specialist homelessness services (10% of
    responses).

In the outer northern area of Brisbane the top three themes identified were:

•   improve models of service integration by homelessness and mainstream services (16% of
    responses)
•   prevent eviction for all kinds of tenure (17% of responses), and
•   provide safe, appropriate long-term accommodation and or support to people experiencing
    domestic and family violence relationships and family breakdown at key transition points
    (10% of responses).

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In the inner city the top three themes identified were:

•   improve models of service integration by homelessness and mainstream services (19% of
    responses)
•   provide models of accommodation with support that are suitable for different target groups
    (18% of responses), and
•   prevent eviction for all kinds of tenure (8% of responses).

4.1.    Local responses to homelessness
Achieving the outcomes of the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan will depend on
the support and commitment of the community.

A priority for the Brisbane region is to ensure that the Homelessness Community Action Plan is
inclusive to all members of the community. While the actions may not always specifically identify
particular population groups, it is implicit in the implementation that target groups include:

•   people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
•   people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
•   children and young people
•   people with disabilities and people with high and complex needs, and
•   older people.

It is also a priority that projects coming out of the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action
Planning process are client focused and achievable and that they acknowledge and continue to
built on existing initiatives.

It is proposed that the key findings of the engagement process could be best implemented
through an action learning approach, based on joint case planning and service coordination in
each location and an overarching governance group to link the three locations to ensure
consistency, share learnings and to provide strategic capacity to escalate issues that are not
able to be addressed at the local level.

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This approach builds on a history of cooperation, collaboration and innovative practice including
existing models of service coordination in the inner city that include:

•   Under 1 Roof, which was established with the support of the Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley
    to address the needs of homelessness in Brisbane’s inner northern suburbs. Members of
    the consortium include 139 Club, BRIC Housing, Brisbane Housing Company, Brisbane
    Youth Service, City Care, Communify, Footprints in Brisbane, Mission Australia, New Farm
    Neighbourhood Centre and Queensland Intravenous Health Network.
•   50 Lives 50 Homes, which has used a vulnerability index to identify the 50 most
    vulnerable people and worked to find them homes, support them to maintain their tenancies
    and connect them to the healthcare services they need. This register will provide an ongoing
    baseline registry of rough sleepers to assist us track our progress with housing and
    supporting people. In February 2011, the 50 Lives 50 Homes team reached its target of
    housing the first 50 most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness in Brisbane in
    permanent long-term accommodation and has almost achieved the next 50.
•   The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Service Coalition, which is
    piloting an integrated service delivery response covering Fortitude Valley, West End and
    South Brisbane. The pilot involves developing an integrated model of service based on the
    needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are sleeping rough.

Housing and homelessness interagency networks in the Brisbane region will continue to play a
key role with the Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan, including taking a lead role
with specific actions in the plan including the:

•   Inner city Homelessness and Affordable Housing Network
•   Inner city Intake and Referral Working Group which includes key stakeholder agencies in the
    inner city crisis homelessness service system
•   South West Housing Network and the Brisbane North Housing Solutions Network, which are
    both sub-branches of Queensland Shelter
•   agencies Supporting the Housing of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASHRAM),
    and
•   Homeless to Home Healthcare Network.

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Planning process is also complemented by
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Urban Participation Plans. These plans are being

                                                                                               18
implemented through a partnership between the regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Services team and key stakeholders in five locations in the Brisbane region, including the three
target locations. Each of these plans has a priority in relation to homelessness.

5. Priority areas for action

A number of local priorities are identified in the action plan. These local priorities were
developed through an extensive consultation process using a wide range of community
stakeholders that took place between October 2010 and September 2011. The consultation
process identified strengths, challenges, gaps and barriers in the local human service system
that impact on people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of experiencing
homelessness.

Eight key local priorities have been identified that guide the activity in this action plan. The
priorities all align to the three key priorities advanced in Opening Doors. The eight local priorities
are:

1. Reduce exits into homelessness
This priority is focussed on reducing exits into homelessness for people in institutional situations
i.e. prisons, youth detention centres, in state care, health facilities and the court system.

2. Help people establish and maintain tenancies
This priority has an early intervention focus, built on existing Home Stay initiatives with a focus
on improving engagement with first to know agencies. There is also a strong emphasis on
ensuring that people in more tenuous accommodation, such as boarding houses, were assisted
through engagement with private providers and private owners whose accommodation and
personal safety may be at risk due to domestic squalor and hoarding.

3. Provide access to accommodation and support to people who are homeless
The focus of actions under this priority relate to the implementation of supportive housing
models, including Common Ground. This priority also focuses on housing provision that is
appropriate to the needs of people who are homeless to assist them to stay in their community.
This will be achieved through improved planning, design and management of social housing to
meet local needs and assessment process to streamline access through the One Social
Housing System.

                                                                                                   19
4. Increase the economic participation and social engagement of people at risk of
    experiencing homelessness
This priority has a focus on employment and training opportunities for people who are homeless
or at risk of homelessness, including the potential to generate new employment opportunities
through collaboration.

5. Improve the responses to victims of domestic violence at risk or experiencing
    homelessness
This priority arises out of recognition that it is not only homelessness domestic violence services
that are engaged with women escaping domestic violence and accompanying children. The
priority looks at how to best effect a best practice response across the homelessness sector.

6. Ensure people experiencing homelessness have clear and effective case planning
    and coordination to meet their diverse needs
This priority reflects the strong emphasis on service coordination/integration identified by
community stakeholders.

7. Ensure all services for homeless people meet an acceptable level of quality and are
    consistent with best practice and new service models
This priority complements priority one by ensuring that participating agencies are enabled to
implement service coordination. The priority also focuses on best practice responses to families
and ensuring access to the service system and on the need to broaden opportunities for
investment in homelessness service delivery.

8. Use of data to better understand the need and align services
This priority has emerged from an identified need to establish clear data to support coordinated
service responses. Such data will better equip services to understand the client ‘churn’ through
crisis services in the inner city and better establish real numbers of homeless people in the
outer north and south west areas so as to be able to intervene before individuals reach crisis
point.

                                                                                                 20
6. Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan actions

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan has been produced through canvassing
the views of local stakeholders to see what they believe are the most important things to do in
the area to reduce homelessness. A vital ingredient has been agreeing on the best things we
can do together to achieve this result (refer to the ‘what we will do’ section of table four).

Through our consultation process in the area we have also agreed on which organisations are
best placed to lead and support the activity that will underpin ‘what we will do’ and to measure
our progress in achieving better outcomes for clients and the reduction of homelessness we
have developed targets to aim for over the next few years. This information is in table four.

The Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan is based on a firm foundation. Strategic
direction at the national level has been provided by the Australian Government’s White Paper,
The Road Home and since mid-2011 by the Queensland Government’s strategy to reduce
homelessness – Opening Doors. Table four relates the local actions generated in the area to
the bigger picture objectives of the Queensland and Australian Governments to reduce
homelessness. These three objectives, or key strategic priority areas, as expressed in Opening
Doors are:

1. Helping people avoid becoming homeless — by improving housing outcomes for people
   exiting health facilities, child safety arrangements, prisons, and youth detention facilities.

2. Helping people get ahead — by ensuring people who are homeless or at risk of
   homelessness have access to safe, affordable, well-located and appropriate housing
   together with support and increased opportunities to get ahead through participation in
   education, training and employment.

3. Working together for stronger services — by better coordinating and integrating policies,
   programs and services, using and sharing data and improving local case coordination.

                                                                                                    21
Table 4: Brisbane Homelessness Community Action Plan – actions and targets
Please note: lead and partner agencies will be reviewed on an annual basis commencing in late 2012

 Opening Doors Key Priority Area 1: Helping people avoid becoming homeless
 Local Priority 1: Reduce exits into homelessness
 What we will do                       Lead Agency                   Partner Agencies               Targets

 Action 1                                     Department of          139 Club                       By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Community Safety
 Increase the capacity for reintegration of   (Queensland            Aboriginal and Torres Strait   Completed and implemented best practice protocols.
 people exiting prison into the community     Corrective Services)   Islander Legal Service
 in the inner city, south west and outer                                                            By December 2020 we will have:
 north areas, complementing the existing      Local Level            BRIC Housing
 Queensland Corrective Services               Implementation                                        Investigated and made recommendations regarding
 programs.                                    Groups                 Brisbane Homelessness          options for ’lower priority groups’ e.g. people on short-
                                                                     Service Centre (Micah          term sentences and people released from remand.
                                                                     Projects)

                                                                     Centacare Brisbane

                                                                     Court Network

                                                                     Inala Family
                                                                     Accommodation and
                                                                     Support Service

                                                                     Mission Australia

                                                                     Ozcare

                                                                     Queensland Health (Prison
                                                                     Mental Health Service)

                                                                     Salvation Army

                                                                     Under 1 Roof

                                                                                                                                                            22
Action 2                                     Department of       Aboriginal and Torres Strait   By December 2013 we will have:
                                             Communities         Islander Legal Service
Reintegrate young people being released      (Child Safety                                      Put in place best practice protocols and commenced
from detention and exiting state care into   Services; Youth     Create Foundation              implementing ways to better reintegrate young people
the community in the inner city, south       Justice Services)                                  being released from detention and exiting state care
west and outer north areas.                                      Inala Youth Service            into the community.

                                                                 Kyabra Community               By December 2020 we will have:
                                                                 Association
                                                                                                Made recommendations to replicate an appropriate
                                                                 North West Youth               model, such as the Youth Housing And Reintegration
                                                                 Accommodation Service          Service, in the inner city and outer north.

                                                                 Peakcare

                                                                 Youth Emergency Services

Action 3                                     Queensland Health   139 Club                       By December 2013 we will have:

Build referral processes for people who                          HART 4000                      Implemented referral processes and reported on the
are homeless presenting at Queensland                                                           positive engagement of key stakeholders, including
Health services in the inner city, south                         Footprints in Brisbane         service providers and consumers, with Queensland
west and outer north areas.                                                                     Health.
                                                                 Homeless to Home
                                                                 Healthcare Network (Micah      By December 2020 we will have:
                                                                 Projects)
                                                                                                Reviewed, made recommendations and implemented
                                                                 Mission Australia              the recommendations on referral processes.

                                                                 Ozcare

                                                                 Salvation Army

                                                                 Under 1 Roof

                                                                                                                                                     23
Action 4                                      Department of          139 Club                 By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Justice and the
Engage with the Department of Justice         Attorney-General       Brisbane Homelessness    Established and implemented best practice protocols.
and the Attorney-General through the                                 Service Centre (Micah
Magistrates Courts to prevent exits into                             Projects)                By December 2020 we will have:
homelessness from the court system in
the inner city, south west and outer                                 Centacare Brisbane       Reviewed, made recommendations and implemented
north areas.                                                                                  the recommendations on referral processes.
                                                                     Court Network

                                                                     Footprints in Brisbane

                                                                     HART4000

                                                                     Salvation Army

                                                                     Under 1 Roof

Local Priority 2: Help people establish and maintain tenancies
Action 5                                      Australian Red Cross   139 Club                 By December 2013 we will have:

Develop and implement an early                Kyabra Community       Brisbane Homelessness    Reviewed existing tools and processes as well as
intervention strategy to ensure that people   Association            Service Centre (Micah    brokerage capacity.
do not enter homelessness in the inner                               Projects)
city, south west and outer north areas.       Micah Projects                                  By December 2020 we will have:
                                                                     Centacare Brisbane
                                                                                              Developed and implemented an early intervention
                                                                     Communify                strategy.

                                                                     HART 4000

                                                                     Near North Housing
                                                                     Service

                                                                     Queensland Shelter

                                                                     RESOLVE

                                                                     Under 1 Roof
Action 6                                      Tenants’ Union of      139 Club                 By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Queensland

                                                                                                                                                 24
Work with private boarding house                              Aboriginal Hostels Limited   Engaged key stakeholders and planned and delivered
providers, key support agencies and the                                                    a community awareness strategy in relation to best
Residential Tenancy Authority to avoid                        BRIC Housing                 practice in tenancy agreements for boarding house
preventable evictions from                                                                 residents.
boarding/rooming houses in the inner                          Brisbane Homelessness
city, south west and outer north areas.                       Service Centre (Micah        By December 2014 we will have:
                                                              Projects)
                                                                                           Developed and implemented a report with
                                                              Centacare Brisbane           recommendations.

                                                              Footprints in Brisbane       By December 2020 we will have:

                                                              New Farm Neighbourhood       Reviewed the strategy to prevent evictions.
                                                              Centre

                                                              Queensland Police Service

                                                              Queensland Shelter

                                                              Residential Tenancies
                                                              Authority

                                                              Salvation Army

                                                              Supported Accommodation
                                                              Providers Association

                                                              Under 1 Roof

Action 7                                   Footprints in      139 Club                     By December 2013 we will have:
                                           Brisbane
Enhance support to residents of Level 2                       Centracare Brisbane          Documented recommendations and developed an
and 3 boarding and rooming houses in the   Resident Support                                implementation plan.
inner city, south west and outer north     Program (Micah     Communify
areas.                                     Projects)                                       By December 2020 we will have:
                                                              Department of
                                                              Communities (Disability      Implemented the recommendations.
                                                              Services)

                                                              Department of Justice and
                                                              the Attorney-General

                                                                                                                                            25
(Office of the Adult
                                                                Guardian)

                                                                Supported Accommodation
                                                                Providers Association

Action 8                                   Centacare Brisbane   Australian Red Cross         By December 2013 we will have:

Develop collaborative, holistic and        Communify            Aged Care Queensland         Developed an action plan.
sustainable responses to the issues of
severe domestic squalor and/or                                  Brisbane City Council        By December 2020 we will have:
compulsive hoarding that reduce the risk
of housing insecurity and homelessness                          Department of                Implemented and reviewed an action plan.
in the inner city, south west and outer                         Communities (Housing and
north areas.                                                    Homelessness Services)

                                                                Footprints in Brisbane

                                                                Homefront (Micah Projects)

                                                                Mission Australia

                                                                Near North Housing
                                                                Services

                                                                Queensland Health

                                                                                                                                        26
Opening Doors Key Priority Area 2: Helping people get ahead
Local Priority 3: Provide access to accommodation and support to people who are homeless
What we will do                        Lead Agency      Partner Agencies         Targets
Action 9                                  Department of       139 Club                     By December 2013 we will have:
                                          Communities
Investigate diverse supportive housing    (Housing and        Local Level Implementation   Implemented Common Ground.
models for people who are chronically     Homelessness        Groups
homeless in the inner city.               Services)
                                                              Mission Australia            By December 2020 we will have:
                                          Micah Projects
                                                              New Farm Neighbourhood       Reviewed Common Ground.
                                                              Centre
                                                                                           Reported on alternative supportive housing models.
                                                              Under 1 Roof

Action 10                                 Footprints in       139 Club                     By December 2014 we will have:
                                          Brisbane
People with high and complex health                           4Walls                       15 families/ individuals assisted have sustained their
needs are supported to maintain           Queensland Health                                tenancies.
tenancies in the inner city, south west                       Centacare Brisbane
and outer north areas.
                                                              Mission Australia            By December 2020 we will have:

                                                              Near North Housing           An additional 15 families/individuals sustaining their
                                                              Services                     tenancies.

                                                              Ozcare

                                                              Salvation Army

                                                              Street to Home (Micah
                                                              Projects)

                                                              Under 1 Roof

                                                                                                                                                    27
Action 11                                     Department of   4Walls                       By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Communities
Department of Communities (Housing and        (Housing and    BRIC Housing                 Reviewed housing policy regarding design, planning
Homelessness Services) to include the         Homelessness                                 and engagement with the housing and homelessness
local service providers in the planning and   Services)       Brisbane Housing             sector.
design of housing to meet the needs of                        Company
different population groups in the inner
city, south west and outer north areas.                       HART 4000                    By December 2020 we will have:

                                                              Jacaranda Housing            Documented and reported gaps in housing provision to
                                                                                           Department of Communities (Housing and
                                                              Local Level Implementation   Homelessness Services).
                                                              Groups

Action 12                                     Department of   4Walls                       By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Communities
Streamline registering and assessment of      (Housing and    BRIC Housing                 Mapped existing assessment processes and
clients on the One Social Housing System      Homelessness                                 implemented an awareness strategy.
in the inner city, south west and outer       Services)       Centacare Brisbane
north areas.                                                                               By December 2020 we will have:
                                                              Inala Family
                                                              Accommodation and            Documented and negotiated a process for
                                                              Support Service              implementation of a streamlined assessment process
                                                                                           with Department of Communities (Housing and
                                                              Jacaranda Housing            Homelessness Services).

                                                              Local Level Implementation
                                                              Groups

                                                              Micah Projects

                                                              Near North Housing
                                                              Services

                                                              Queensland Shelter

                                                              Street to Home (Micah
                                                              Projects)

                                                              Under 1 Roof

                                                                                                                                                28
Action 13                                   Department of         4Walls                        By December 2013 we will have:
                                            Communities
Investigate the potential for transfer of   (Housing and          BRIC Housing                  Documented community organisations that could take
public housing stock to community           Homelessness                                        on management of potential transferred properties.
management in the inner city, south         Services)             Brisbane Housing
west and outer north areas.                                       Company                       By December 2020 we will have:

                                                                  Inala Family                  Documented and developed an implementation plan
                                                                  Accommodation and             for a potential process for transfer of stock.
                                                                  Support Service

                                                                  Jacaranda Housing

                                                                  Local Level Implementation
                                                                  Groups

                                                                  Salvation Army

Local Priority 4: Increase the economic participation and social engagement of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness
Action 14                                   Department of         139 Club                      By December 2012 we will have:
                                            Education,
Work with key employment and training       Employment and        Max Employment                Documented service provider networks and providers.
stakeholders and the business sector to     Workforce Relations
increase employment and training                                  Mission Australia             By December 2013 we will have:
opportunities in the inner city, south      Department of
west and outer north areas.                 Employment,           Relevant employment and       Established a local working and documented referral
                                            Economic              training service providers,   pathways and barriers to participation.
                                            Development and       including Participate in
                                            Innovation            Prosperity                    By December 2020 we will have:

                                                                  Salvation Army                Documented and developed an implementation plan
                                                                                                exploring alternative opportunities for economic
                                                                  Sarina Russo                  participation.

Local Priority 5: Improve responses to victims of domestic violence at risk or experiencing homelessness
Action 15                                   Brisbane Domestic     139 Club                      By December 2012 we will have:
                                            Violence Advocacy
Better integrate the regional domestic      Service               Micah Projects                Mapped existing networks.
violence service with regional family
homelessness services and the general                             Ozcare                        By December 2013 we will have:
community to improve service delivery

                                                                                                                                                      29
and capacity for early intervention in the                         Peakcare                Documented and developed an implementation plan
inner city, south west and outer north                                                     and strategies to strengthen local level approaches to
areas.                                                             Salvation Army          domestic violence.

                                                                                           By December 2020 we will have:

                                                                                           Implemented and reviewed strategies.

Action 16                                     Department of        Brisbane Homelessness   By December 2013 we will have:
                                              Communities          Service Centre and
Broaden the application of the trial of the   (Pathways Project)   Families Team (Micah    Implemented a risk assessment tool reviewed and
risk assessment tool for Homelessness                              Projects)               implementation plan to include broader stakeholders ie
Domestic Violence services to specialist                                                   specialist homelessness services whose client group
homelessness services whose target                                 Combined Women’s        includes women escaping domestic violence and
areas include domestic violence and                                Refuge Group            accompanying children.
accompanying children in the inner city,
south west and outer north areas.                                  Peakcare
                                                                                           By December 2020 we will have:

                                                                                           Implemented a risk assessment tool with broader
                                                                                           stakeholder group.

                                                                                                                                                30
Opening Doors Key Priority Area 3: Working Together for Stronger Services
Local Priority 6: Ensure people experiencing homelessness have clear and effective case planning and coordination to meet their
diverse needs
What we will do                       Lead Agency       Partner Agencies          Targets
Action 17                                   Australian Red Cross   Local Level Implementation   By December 2013 we will have:
                                                                   Groups
Implement a service coordination            Inala Family                                        Assisted ten families with high and complex needs who
approach in the south west and outer        Accommodation and                                   are homeless or at risk of homelessness to have met
north areas.                                Support Service                                     case plan actions through case coordination.

                                            Kyabra Community
                                            Association                                         By December 2020 we will have:

                                            Department of                                       Assisted a minimum of an additional ten
                                            Communities                                         families/individuals.
                                            (Community
                                            Services, Sport and
                                            Recreation)

                                            Families Team
                                            (Micah Projects)

                                            Queensland Council
                                            of Social Service

                                            Youth Emergency
                                            Services

Action 18                                   Department of          Local Level Implementation   By December 2014 we will have:
                                            Communities            Groups
Implement a service coordination            (Community                                          Actively engaged key stakeholder agencies in case
approach in the inner city that builds on   Services, Sport and    Local Case Coordination      coordination.
and consolidates existing case              Recreation)            Groups
coordination approaches such as Project
50 and Under 1 Roof, and links with the     Queensland Council
Brisbane Service Integration.               of Social Service
Demonstration Project.
Action 19                                   Queensland Youth       Brisbane Youth Service       By December 2013 we will have:

                                                                                                                                                    31
Housing Coalition
Investigate and implement an integrated                          Inala Youth Service        Documented and implemented best practice principles.
approach to young people who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness in                           Salvation Army
the inner city, south west and outer                                                        By December 2020 we will have:
north areas.                                                     Youth Emergency Services
                                                                                            The practice framework will be implemented.
                                                                 Youth Housing Projects

Action 20                                    Local Level         4Walls                     By December 2013 we will have:
                                             Implementation
Identify opportunities to promote and        Groups              Centacare Brisbane         Ensured that relevant agencies will have participated in
provide skills development particularly in                                                  training and report positively of their experience.
relation to service coordination in the      Workforce Council   Communify
inner city, south west and outer north
areas.                                                           Department of              By December 2020 we will have:
                                                                 Communities (Community
                                                                 Capacity and Service       Documented and developed and implemented a
                                                                 Quality)                   training and skills development plan.

                                                                 Kyabra Community
                                                                 Association

                                                                 Micah Projects

                                                                 Queensland Council of
                                                                 Social Service

                                                                 Under 1 Roof

                                                                 Youth Emergency Services

                                                                                                                                                  32
Local Priority 7: Ensure all services for homeless people meet an acceptable level of quality and are consistent with best practice
and new service models
Action 21                                  Inala Family           139 Club                   By December 2013 we will have:
                                           Accommodation and
Improve service system responses to        Support Service        BRIC Housing               Piloted a family prevention and early intervention
families who are homeless or at risk of                                                      strategy
homelessness in the inner city, south      Micah Projects,        Centacare Brisbane
west and outer north areas.                Families Team
                                                                  Communify                  By December 2020 we will have:

                                                                  Department of              Reported that participating agencies have an
                                                                  Communities (Housing and   increased capacity to respond to needs of families.
                                                                  Homelessness Services)

                                                                  HART 4000

                                                                  Mission Australia

                                                                  North West Youth
                                                                  Accommodation Service

                                                                  Peakcare

                                                                  Queensland Health

                                                                  Under 1 Roof
Action 22                                  Department of          139 Club                   By December 2020 we will have:
                                           Communities
Investigate and improve access points to   (Community             Brisbane Homelessness      Implemented and promoted a local model to improve
the homelessness service system in         Capacity and Service   Service Centre (Micah      access to all local agencies.
Brisbane including the inner city, south   Quality)               Projects)
west and outer north areas.
                                                                  Brisbane North Housing
                                                                  Solutions Network

                                                                  Centacare Brisbane

                                                                  Communify

                                                                  HART 4000

                                                                                                                                                   33
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