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Life Lessons Life Lessons

Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness By Dr Andy Marks and Cassandra Douglas November 2008


Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Life Lessons

Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness

Dr Andy Marks PhD (NE), BA(Hons 1) Senior Researcher St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Cassandra Douglas B Int. Stud. (NSW) Research Officer St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Š 2008 St Vincent de Paul Society NSW This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this work may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council. In all other cases the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW must be acknowledged as the source when reproducing or quoting any part of this publication. Layout and design by Rachel Anne Irvine Media enquiries Julie McDonald Manager Community and Corporate Relations St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Telephone: (02) 9568 0225 Mobile: 0417 446 430 Email: julie.mcdonald@vinnies.org.au

Privacy statement Because the St Vincent de Paul Society respects the privacy of the people it serves, the names of any clients featured in this report have been changed and pictorial models used.

I


The Mission of St Vincent de Paul Society

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

The St Vincent de Paul Society (‘the Society’) was principally founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam in 1833. Currently the Society maintains an active presence in 144 countries, serving the poorest of the poor. The Society is one of the largest charitable providers in Australia, with almost 20,000 members and volunteers carrying out ‘good works’ in NSW alone. The Society’s first NSW conference was founded by Charles Gordon O’Neill and aggregated by the International Confederation of the St Vincent de Paul Society in July 1881. Today, in NSW there are over 500 conferences, with dedicated Vincentians who conduct visits as required bringing comfort, dignity and hope to disadvantaged and marginalised people. At the direction of an elected State Council, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW operates a number of Special Works including homeless facilities, more than 240 Vinnies Centres (shops) and a range of other programs dedicated to assisting marginalised and disadvantaged people. No work of charity is foreign to the Society. It includes any form of help, to anyone in need that alleviates suffering or deprivation, and promotes human dignity and personal integrity in all their dimensions.

Matthew Talbot Homeless Services

A Special Work of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services comprises the Society’s 37 homeless services and facilities across NSW and the ACT.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the following people for their contribution to this report: Lisa Bright, Michael Callaghan, Jonathan Campton, Trevor Clark, Annabel Dulhunty, Eric Ellem, Dr John Falzon, Dane Hiser, Greg Hogan, Tamara Holmes, Prof Peter Howard, Des Kinsella, Sheila Kinsella, Pat Leonard, Julie McDonald, Melissa Martin, Brian Murnane, Jey Natkunaratnam, Trish O’Donohue, John Picot, Barbara Ryan, Peter Sharp, Helen Stirling, Sarah Taylor, Jenny Thomas, Prof Ian Webster, Monica Yanni and, most importantly, the homeless.

II

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Contents II.

St Vincent de Paul Society

II.

Acknowledgements

III.

Contents

IV.

President’s message

1

1: Introduction

3

2: Homelessness in Australia

9

3: Progressions in homeless service delivery in Australia

11

4: Homelessness learning and recreation in theory

15

5: Australian homeless learning and recreation program comparisons

19

6: International homeless learning and recreation policy comparisons

23

7: Learning and recreation across Matthew Talbot Homeless Services

27

8: Learning and recreation at the Mathew Talbot Hostel

31

9: The Ozanam Learning Centre

35

10: Challenges and opportunities

37

Endnotes

40

Bibliography

Contents

III


President’s message As a lay Catholic organisation founded in 1833 by a 19 year-old university student, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, the traditions of learning and discovery are at the very heart of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Vincentians strive to remain faithful to Ozanam’s inquisitive, progressive and, most importantly, compassionate spirit when engaging with the most disadvantaged members of the community. As such, it is no accident that so much of the work we do has been forged through learning. More than 125 years of experience in assisting marginalised Australians, combined with 70 years of dedicated service to the homeless (epitomised by the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo) have taught the Society a great deal. However, by far the best teachers are the people we serve. The Ozanam Learning Centre of course came about through an intensive process of evidence-based planning and policy development, yet it has overwhelmingly been an innovation driven by the homeless themselves; a direct response to the needs and aspirations they have shared with us. Steadfast in our commitment to serve Christ through the poor, the St Vincent de Paul Society constantly strives for renewal. We seek to be ever aware of the changes that occur in human society and to anticipate emerging forms (and causes) of poverty and deprivation both at a global and community level, enabling us to direct our resources where they are most needed. Our journey alongside the homeless has shown us the complexities of the experience of homelessness. Empowering disadvantaged people to make positive choices and reconnect with the community can be an incredibly challenging task for both the individual in question and the Society. It is, however, an undertaking that wherever possible we remain committed to realising. Rarely does one single factor alone trigger homelessness, thus it follows that our response must not be one-dimensional. The Society recognises that the cycle of homelessness can only be broken through a range of integrated programs, targeted resources and tailored support processes. The success of a range of learning and recreation programs in place across the 37 homeless facilities that comprise Matthew Talbot Homeless Services convinced us of the multi-faceted merits of these initiatives. As you will read in this report, the Ozanam Learning Centre consolidates the learning and recreation services we have in place, enabling us to expand and build upon best practice in the provision of progressive, flexible and engaging avenues of empowerment, independence and resilience for the people we serve.

IV

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


I commend the Life Lessons report to you and offer my sincere thanks to those St Vincent de Paul Society members, volunteers and staff whose faith, dedication and commitment helped the Ozanam Learning Centre become a reality. Lastly, thank you to the homeless men, women, children and families whom everyday continue to teach us humility, love and respect through sharing in Christ’s love. Yours sincerely,

Barbara Ryan President St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Matthew Talbot Homeless Services

President’s Message

V


1

Introduction

VI

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


1. Introduction This St Vincent de Paul Society NSW social justice research report examines learning and recreation programs as integrated components of the broader homeless services matrix. As a study prompted by the development and (6 November 2008) launch of the Society’s Ozanam Learning Centre, this report assesses the Centre’s goals, operational profile and capabilities in the context of the following factors:

1.1 Objectives (a) The challenges presented by current and emerging trends in the homeless population. (b) The current theoretical rationales for the viability, scope, planning, implementation and evaluation of learning and recreational programs for homeless persons. (c) The philosophical, theoretical and practical dimensions of comparable Australian homeless learning and recreation services and selected international approaches to homelessness. (d) The nature, range and impact of learning and recreation programs in place across the 37 homeless facilities and programs comprising Matthew Talbot Homeless Services.

This study’s critique of the above factors will contribute to a suite of existing benchmarks facilitating the development, evaluation and planning of learning and recreation programs at the Ozanam Learning Centre.

1.2 Structure

Beginning with a broad assessment of the homeless population, this report then progresses through a brief history of homeless services in Australia, examining related changes in government, social service and community attitudes and responses to homelessness. The issue of integrated service engagement with homeless persons is then introduced in order to position this paper’s appraisal of learning and recreation programs in their broader context as major components of current and emerging modes of homeless services delivery. As a preparatory to this paper’s focus on the provision of learning and recreation programs for the homeless, the theoretical rationale for the increasing adoption of these models across the social services sector is examined. A review of a selection of Australian homeless learning and recreation programs comparable to the Ozanam Learning Centre is then conducted to assess their respective theoretical and practical innovations. This is followed by a cursive examination of selected international homeless service models. A study of a selection of diverse learning and recreation initiatives currently in place across the 37 homeless programs and facilities comprising Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, is supplemented by an account of the service models in place at the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo. This paper then turns to the Ozanam Learning Centre, building an appraisal of the range of programs planned for implementation in this new facility. The report closes with an assessment of the existing and future challenges and opportunities in the provision of integrated homeless services.

1: Introduction

1


2

Homelessness in Australia

2

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


2. Homelessness in Australia To contend with the complex and diverse levels of homelessness apparent throughout Australia, governments, the social services sector and researchers typically augment qualitative analysis with two widely accepted enumerating definitions of homelessness; cultural and subjective.

2.1 The ‘cultural’ definition of homelessness

In their methodology for the first Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) count of the total homeless population in 1996, researchers David MacKenzie and Chris Chamberlain devised a set of cultural categories describing four degrees of homelessness1. These categories are measured by a number of factors primarily relative to the median socially constructed standard of dwellings in western liberal democratic societies. Primary homelessness MacKenzie and Chamberlain describe people living on the streets, those who seek shelter in “deserted buildings, improvised dwellings, under bridges and in parks” as experiencing “primary homelessness”.2 This category is perhaps the most commonly recognised (and stereotypically understood) form of homelessness; it is often interchanged with the colloquial term, ‘sleeping rough’. Secondary homelessness The category of “secondary homelessness” encompasses “people moving between various forms of temporary shelter: including friends houses, emergency accommodation, youth refuges, hostels and boarding houses.”3 To qualify for secondary homelessness, accommodation must generally not exceed 12 weeks. Tertiary homelessness The term “tertiary homelessness” applies to “people living in single rooms in private boarding houses – without their own bathroom, kitchen or security of tenure.”4 These people are defined as homeless because their accommodation does not meet the minimum community standard of housing. Marginally housed The “marginally housed” category of homelessness refers to “people in housing close to the minimum standard”, that standard being “equivalent to a small rented flat with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom.”5 To be marginally housed according to MacKenzie and Chamberlain’s cultural definition, an individual will be in premises such as a caravan park without security of tenure and not in full-time employment. The qualifying factors for this category are contentious. The narrow ‘minimum standard’ paradigm is highly subjective and difficult to apply as an enumerating device across vastly differing forms of non-conventional housing. This uncertainty has in part prompted the ABS to omit this category in its count of the total homeless population. Conscious of the experience of marginal housing, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW does include this segment in its interpretation of the ABS’s total count of the homeless population (See: Section 2.3, TABLE 5).

2: Homelessness in Australia

2 3


2.2 The ‘subjective’ definition of homelessness

The Supported Accommodation Assistance (SAAP) Act’s 1994 definition of homelessness is formed on the basis of the following subjective criteria: “A person is homeless if, and only if he/she has inadequate access to safe and secure housing. A person is taken to have inadequate access to safe and secure housing if the only housing to which a person has access: (a) damages or is likely to damage a person’s health; or (b) threatens a person’s safety; or (c) marginalises the person by failing to provide: (i) adequate personal amenities; or (ii) economic and social support that a home normally affords; or (d) places the person in circumstances which threaten or adversely affect the adequacy, safety, security and affordability of that housing.”6 While individual experiences of homelessness may not fit neatly into categories, the cultural and subjective definitions of homelessness are useful as guides for the provision of resources and assistance to homeless people.

2.3 ABS data comparisons

The following comparisons of recent ABS homelessness data sets track general trends of note among the homeless population.

TABLE 1

TABLE 2

Total number of homeless persons in Australia

Number of people experiencing primary homelessness

2006

104,676

2006

16,375

(15.6%)*

2001

99,900

2001

14,158

(14.2%)*

1996

105,304

1996

20,579

(19.5%)*

* percentage of the total population

4

TABLE 3

TABLE 4

Number of people experiencing secondary homelessness

Number of people experiencing tertiary homelessness

2006

66,714

2001

62,865

1996

61,426

* percentage of the total homeless population

(63.7%)*

2006

21,596

(20.6%)*

(62.9%)*

2001

22,877

(22.9%)*

(58.3%)*

1996

23,299

(22.1%)*

* percentage of the total homeless population

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


TABLE 5 Number of people in marginal housing

2006

17,496

(122,172)*

2001

22,868

(122,768)*

1996

14,773

(120,077)*

* This figure represents the number of people in marginal housing added to the ABS total homeless population count [see: Table 1]. Re. TABLE 5: Note how this amalgamated count (preferred by the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW) stabilises the total population figure.

TABLE 6 Number of homeless people aged 0-18

2006

34,073

(32.6%)*

2001

36,001

(36%)*

* percentage of the total homeless population

TABLE 7 Number of homeless people aged 19-34

2006

26,308

(25.1%)*

2001

21,680

(21.7%)*

* percentage of the total homeless population

TABLE 8 Number of homeless people aged 35 or older

2006

44,635

(42.6%)*

2001

37,219

(37.3%)*

* percentage of the total homeless population

2: Homelessness in Australia

2 5


TABLE 9 Number of homeless people by gender

2006 2001

males

58,619

(56%)*

57,942

(58%)*

females

46,057

(44%)*

41,958

(42%)*

* percentage of the total homeless population

TABLE 10 Percentage of homeless Australians who are Indigenous

2006

9.9%* of 104,676

2001

8.5%* of 99,900

* percentage of the total homeless population

2.4 Matthew Talbot Homeless Services data

The following data is collected from the St Vincent de Paul Society’s homeless facilities and programs across NSW and the ACT comprising Matthew Talbot Homeless Services for the year 2006-2007.

TABLE 11

Matthew Talbot Homeless Services 2006-2007 Number of services: 37 Number of volunteer staff: 380 Number of employees: 343 Average number of beds occupied per night: 369 Average number of meals provided per day: 1,315 Number of people assisted during the year: 38,418 Number of people unable to accomodate during the year: 4,961

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


2: Homelessness in Australia

2 7


3

Progressions in homeless service delivery in Australia

8

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


3. Progressions in homeless service delivery in Australia Homeless services have undergone considerable progressions over the last 220 years to attain their present status. Church based forms of refuge have a long history in Australia.7 The experience of urban workhouses and rural itinerancy are also well documented.8 Consolidated responses to homelessness, however, in the form of hostels did not arise en mass until the Depression of the early 1930s. Little change occurred in the structure and delivery of services during the post-war era, with most agencies offering homeless persons no more than a basic meal and a cramped dormitory bed. Privacy was non-existent and clinical secondary care reserved for all but the most dire cases.9 Access was also markedly limited, with few appropriate services available for homeless women and children, and no formal acknowledgement of the widespread prevalence and devastating impact of domestic violence. For Indigenous Australians, access to mainstream homeless services was non-existent, and government policies sanctioned the removal of Indigenous children from their families on the basis of arbitrary racial assessments.10 The rise of pronounced liberal-democratic social agendas throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s provoked a major re-think in the manner in which Australian governments and the community addressed homelessness.11 Studies of the social, economic and health related facets of homelessness gradually led to a shift in the delivery of homeless services.12 No longer was the focus solely directed towards the provision of basic food and shelter. Again, however, homelessness among Indigenous Australians continued relatively unchecked. Recognition of a selection of highly-visible symptomatic behaviours prevalent across the homeless population saw treatment for conditions such as alcoholism and mental illness receive greater emphasis.13 However, despite selected advances, many of these programs were crude, poorly resourced and fragmented in nature. As such, their long-term success was extremely questionable, as were a selection of the attendant diagnostic, implementation and evaluation strategies. The increasing impact of global conditions on the Australian economy in the mid-1980s saw issues like housing and unemployment enter the homelessness research spectrum. In time, service delivery reflected the tenor theoretical findings and a recognition of the influence of socio-economic issues led to the implementation of a multi-strand response to homelessness across government departments and social service entities.14 The new millennium saw factors like social inclusion, environment, culture and technology enter the discourse of homeless service delivery.15 Central to this approach is the notion of “agency�.16 As both a theoretical doctrine and a practical device, agency seeks to empower homeless persons to make positive life choices. For agency to be achieved, however, a range of integrated services are required, as are unfettered access and flexible forms of support. In the context of homelessness, learning and recreation are viewed as key elements in achieving sustained agency and, in the first instance, securing viable pathways out of chronic homelessness. This is an aim evident in a range of current theories on homelessness.

3: Progressions in homeless service delivery in Australia

9


4

Homelessness learning and recreation in theory

10

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


4. Homelessness learning and recreation in theory A primary assertion to emerge from homelessness theory in recent years is that clients must be involved in both the design and implementation of homeless services.17 This line of thinking in part came to prominence as a response to widespread evidence of the negative implications of disconnects between service provider recommendations, and individual client goals,18 suggesting a greater emphasis on client feedback is required. Moves to intensify levels of client feedback acknowledge a “positive association between the ability of consumers to choose and control their services, and their ability to function independently.”19 Current multi-faceted modes of homeless service delivery are structured to encourage clients with suitable capacities to “function independently”; it follows then that homelessness research designs increasingly draw on client feedback. The act of ‘feedback’ itself can help client personal development by encouraging participation, constructive personal reflection, and heightened social and environmental awareness. Importantly, the request for feedback, if well executed, has the added value of helping to make the client feel their opinion is valued. This focus on developing homeless service models informed by client consultation is often rationalised by notions of “agency”, also referred to as empowerment theory.20 Empowerment theory is commonly cited as the optimum approach for homeless services, particularly because it is perceived to be the most appropriate way to assist oppressed groups to achieve social action and individual justice.21 Feminist theory corroborates empowerment theory, indicating that in order to accrue power one “must have a voice, determine what language is used… and participate in decision making”.22 Naturally, empowerment is contingent on a series of pre-existing conditions, resources and facilitating factors. These issues can be problematic when empowerment theory is transposed to the design and implementation of homeless services. While theory dictates that clients should be in control of their involvement in research, it fails to elucidate what form this should take. Client feedback is most commonly sought through surveys and focus groups. However, in the case of surveys and comparable feedback forms, homeless service providers may very well be compounding ‘form fatigue’ among a significant proportion of the homeless population.23 To access a series of essential government support services and social service agencies, the homeless are often forced to relate traumatic personal stories on repeated occasions to different people in typically unsupported environments. Given this experience, the reluctance of many clients to go through the ‘process’ again is understandable. The concept of active participation in decision-making is certainly progressive; however, the method – in terms of feedback solicitation – is less successful. As such, this method alone is unlikely to inspire significant advancements in services. Feedback forums pose similar limitations for several reasons; such as the fact that those who chose to participate in the forums are likely to be the participants who saw value in the services, resulting in skewed feedback;

4: Homelessness learning and recreation in theory

11


or that homeless people may not be able to articulate the precise services that they want, leaving their feedback to the interpretation of the service providers. Further theoretical trends apparent in the literature regarding homelessness acknowledge the heterogeneous nature of homeless populations, and that recreational and leisure activities should be used as a response. As the characteristics of homelessness are continuously changing, and vary from community to community, service delivery methods must reflect this. ‘Static’ or ‘one-size-fits’ all models do not work, even in locales with similar socio-economic profiles and homeless demographics. A significant development on empowerment theory is the model of human occupation, which views humans as occupational beings that thrive on engagement in activities and routines.24 This theory promotes the fostering of “an enabling, facilitating and advocacy role for practitioners in the field”,25 rather than implementing a top-down approach. The general consensus regarding strategies to deliver this is that a decentralised response is most appropriate in order to accommodate customised programs for individual communities; such as appropriately assessed segments of the homeless population.26 Versatility and adaptability are therefore essential elements of any successful learning and recreation program for the homeless. This is, of course, an ongoing challenge. Most theorists favour the incorporation of homeless people in pre-existing social programs, rather than designing programs to specifically target the homeless populations.27 This allows people a “sense of freedom and dignity as consumers in an open market.”28 Programs that fail to expose the homeless to a suitable degree of mainstream educational experiences can have the negative effect of entrenching the “special needs” or “labelling” stigma so often attached to homelessness. Again, limitations arise when the homeless are unwilling to participate in such programs, indicating an inadequacy in theorising a solution. This confirms the fact that theoretical models cannot fully reflect the actual experience of homelessness nor the unquantifiable factors influencing the delivery of homeless services. In this regard, homeless services typically draw on lessons learned throughout their varied histories of practice. An examination of trends and outcomes in the practical delivery of the learning and recreation streams of homeless services illustrates particular gaps and misalignments apparent in the theory-practice nexus. Such an examination also reveals that a range of successful outcomes can be achieved by programs venturing outside the limited paradigms of theory.

12

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


4: Homelessness learning and recreation in theory

13


5

Australian homeless learning and recreation program comparisons 14

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


5. Australian homeless learning and recreation program comparisons A comparison of selected Australian homeless learning and recreation programs indicates the practical implementation of ‘agency’ or ‘empowerment’ theory is evident across a broad range of service delivery models. While these theories are built on the premise of certain common characteristics and challenges, their viability in practice is of course dependant on a range of differing environmental, psychological, social, economic and cultural factors. The increasing prevalence of learning and recreation programs across the Australian homeless services matrix, however, suggests that to varying degrees the social service sector accepts research rationales as to the potential benefits of these initiatives.

5.1 Mission Australia Centre

The Mission Australia Centre, launched in 2005, is designed to provide support to a diverse range of homeless people, with services including medical and legal clinics, educational and skills training programs, and recreational activities such as art and music.29 It aims to create a ‘home-like’ environment with a broad scope, acknowledging that in order to empower people to change their own lives, they must address not simply issues of housing, but those of self-esteem as well. The Centre has succeeded in securing government, community and corporate support in running practical workshops, which have had relatively high attendance rates.30 However, other services are under-utilised. A report issued in 2006 suggests the most commonly received services were emotional support, referral, advocacy and liaison.31 The report further purports that the majority of clients stayed in the facilities for a period shorter than 6 weeks, and used the services only once. This indicates that the goals of the Centre, namely to provide a stable environment in which the individual could build up their personal skills base were not fully realised, highlighting possible structural inadequacies in the Centre’s ability to deal with the complex nature of its clients.

5.2 YEETI

The Youth Education Employment and Training Initiative (YEETI) was developed by Melbourne CityMission in response to the Victorian Government’s 2002 Homeless Strategy. The strategy involved the prioritisation of the “current housing and support needs of homeless young people aged 25 years” and under.32 YEETI was established to strengthen “planned pathways to independence through engagement in education, employment education and training programs at a strategic level.”33 Agencies applied for YEETI brokerage funds to purchase activities equipment and provide subsidies for the direct support of young persons seeking to effectively access, participate in and maintain employment education and training.34 One goal of the program was to “…provide (the young person) with confidence to attend job interviews, knowing that [they look] presentable and socially desirable for an office position.”35 Determining YEETI’s success is problematic; largely due to the fact that it is no longer in operation. This fact alone does not provide sufficient ground to deem the program unsuccessful, as an in-house survey of program participants

5: Australian homeless learning and recreation program comparisons

15


revealed YEETI had a significant impact on access to employment, personal development, and the ability of young people to maintain education and training.36 However, the number of survey respondents was limited, making it difficult to draw a conclusive evaluation of the program.37 As with the Mission Australia Centre, the emphasis of YEETI was on personal development and social skills. This reveals that there is significant demand for homeless services that extend beyond the provision of basic food and shelter. However, YEETI’s somewhat limited viability indicates that the nature of the homeless population makes it difficult to maintain regular contact with them. Again, this illustrates that certain structural limitations hinder the effectiveness of this type of program.

5.3 Edward Eagar Lodge

The Edward Eagar Lodge is an initiative of the Wesley Mission, that includes emergency accommodation, as well as a highly accessible day centre. The Lodge provides basic services such as clothing and laundry facilities, as well as an integrated array of self-development and recreational activities. The Lodge is broader in scope than the Mission Australia Centre or YEETI, attracting approximately 100 people per day. Additionally, access to the Lodge is not limited to clients experiencing primary or secondary homelessness.38 It is therefore more flexible in scale and intensity of services offered. Perhaps this is a source of its success, as it does not require an onerous or unreasonable level of commitment on the part of the client, and as such is more sympathetic to the unstructured nature of the homeless. While the Lodge does employ staff such as a Community Education Officer, and a Skills Educator, much of the recreational and social activities clients take part in are organised, arranged and facilitated by volunteers and residents. This appears to be a more effective means of empowering the homeless. It is certainly an approach closely aligned to the aforementioned theoretical models emphasising the importance of ‘agency’. Such activities occur on a regular basis. Additional reasons for the Lodge’s success can be attributed to its function as a defacto agent for homeless people to access other organisations and groups providing personal development opportunities, such as Rec-Link – a group aiming to provide recreation and leisure opportunities, and the Milk Crate Theatre, which offers a vehicle for the homeless to “creatively express complex and often intense elements of their lives” in a safe way.39

5.4 Catalyst-Clemente

The Catalyst-Clemente program seeks to re-engage people with the community by providing them with university-level education opportunities in the field of the humanities. The program is run in selected socio-economically disadvantaged areas by a number of agencies, including the St Vincent de Paul Society, Centacare and The Smith Family. Mission Australia, however, with the assistance of sponsors such as Woodside, has the greatest level of involvement. The primary aim of the program is to use humanities to build critical thinking and self analysis skills, which differs from other learning models where the ultimate goal is vocational. It also aims to integrate clients into the mainstream tertiary education community. This typically involves the enrolment of clients into accredited 12-week university preparation courses provided by the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

16

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Mission Australia facilitates ACU preparation courses at its offices, in order to create an environment where the students study with people from similar backgrounds, enabling them to “empathise with and support one another” through relational learning.40 Mission Australia also provides volunteer learning partners to offer support and mentoring. Between 2005-2007, 104 students participated, four of which are now enrolled in fulltime tertiary study. Given that one of the core elements of the program is to maintain university level standards in assignments and marking, the likelihood of drop-out is high. Critics might argue that the failure of the majority of participants to sustain university level education may further deplete, rather than build self-esteem. This is a markedly low rate of completion, however when assessing the success of the Catalyst-Clemente, the two goals incorporated in the program must be considered. In one – to stream suitable members of the homeless population into higher education – the success is difficult to gauge. The other – to encourage broader thinking and self-reflection through a specific focus on humanities – is more useful, and is not measured by its attainment of quantitative outcomes. Considering university accreditation is not necessary to achieve Catalyst-Clemente’s primary goal, it would perhaps benefit from a more flexible format. Where this program differs from previously discussed examples, is that it relies on one complex method to empower the homeless, thus acknowledging the reciprocal complexity of particular experiences of homelessness.

5.5 Oasis

The Oasis youth support network is operated by the Salvation Army. However, due to a lack of independent data, an accurate comparison to the aforementioned programs is not possible. Oasis is a network aimed at supporting homeless youth via a variety of initiatives, including Outreach programs, specialised case management, and personal development.41 The Oasis programs are notable due to their holistic approach to recreation and education, thereby acknowledging the broad scope of their clients’ needs. Entirely purpose built programs often serve to entrench the ‘homeless’ label. Oasis has generally avoided this problem by establishing working relationships with many external educational institutions such as the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and the Sydney Institute of TAFE. The partnerships Oasis has secured with a diverse range of external agencies have enabled the development of a broader range of professional skills among clients, helping to facilitate a smoother transition into mainstream society. Oasis also provides opportunities for the immediate practical application of newly learned skills by offering employment within the Salvation Army. Client development, operation and evaluation of progressive initiatives such as radio broadcasting have also proved quite successful.

5: Australian homeless learning and recreation program comparisons

17


6

International homeless services policy and practice comparisons

18

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


6. International homeless services policy and practice comparisons A comparison of selected international approaches to homelessness reveals a convergence in general policy goals, but a range of marked differences in the implementation and evaluation of these aims. In some cases these divergences are a result of disparate environmental and socio-economic factors; however, in other instances they represent ideological shifts in governmental, community and corporate attitudes to homelessness.

6.1 UK

Strategies to address homelessness in the United Kingdom are notably directed by a movement towards an integrative approach. Both government and non-government agencies are acknowledging the benefits surrounding decentralised action. In policy terms this has translated into a more comprehensive framework for local authorities, who are periodically required to develop new homelessness strategies in response to local issues.42 Non-government bodies are similarly emphasising the importance of taking a far more holistic approach, by incorporating more than simply shelter into their considerations of homeless services. Such considerations include the development of skills, social networks, and self-esteem. Homelessness discourse throughout the UK has therefore very much evolved from its prior focus on issues solely pertaining to housing. In its place is a preliminary partnership between government and non-government agencies, which is continuing to expand by challenging the private sector to play a role in tackling homelessness.43

6.2 CANADA

The Canadian strategy in regards to homelessness is characterized by a response to the immediate issues, in efforts to facilitate a sustainable solution. The Canadian government has recently highlighted the need for immediate, permanent housing for the homeless and has announced a new focus on this initiative.44 The reasoning for such a strategy is that ‘Housing First’ is seen as the most effective way to provide a sustainable solution to homelessness. Like the UK, Canada acknowledges the benefits of support from the not-for-profit and private sectors, and encourages a range of federal departments to work together, and take joint responsibility for the issues surrounding homelessness.45 However those prioritized by both government and non-government organisations appear to be more fundamental issues such as housing, clothing and medical services. The fact that non-government organizations do not readily offer services in recreation and education is perhaps a reflection of the government position and consequent lack of funding to such programs. Where these services are available, it is often the result of municipal governments, who lack in an overarching strategy and correlating funding.46

6: International homeless services policy and practice comparisons

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6.3 THE UNITED STATES

The United States’ approach to homelessness is the most comprehensive, as both the government and non-government sectors play a prominent role in addressing more conventional issues, as well as providing a diverse range of services. The US government has committed a substantial sum to tackling homelessness, which has seen a decline across several problem states in recent years. The government has implemented the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, which aims to assist both State and local level initiatives to design and implement 10 year plans.48 Parallels can be drawn between this and the strategy of the UK, in the decentralised nature of the approach. The US has pioneered the ‘Housing First’ strategy, which has also been adopted in Canada. However, unlike Canada, government discourse acknowledges far more clearly that services must move beyond the basics of food and shelter, to tackle the causes of homelessness such as education and employment.49 The US government has a great deal of support in this area, thanks to the proliferation of nongovernment organisations that offer learning and recreation-based services. The concept of ‘daytime shelters’, where homeless people can go for a broad range of services ranging from legal and medical advice, to vocational and personal development is comparatively far more advanced than in the British or Canadian examples.50 In fact government departments pursue a similar concept, in the creation of purpose-built centres offering learning and recreational facilities.51

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


6: International homeless services policy and practice comparisons

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7

Learning and recreation across Matthew Talbot Homeless Services

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


7: Learning and recreation across Matthew Talbot Homeless Services Launched in November 2006 by Former Governor General Sir William Deane, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services consolidates the St Vincent de Paul Society’s 37 homeless services, hostels and programs. As Patron of the initiative, Sir William explains the rationale behind its implementation. The Matthew Talbot Hostel is just one of the Society’s 37 homeless services, caring for men, women, children and families in regional and metropolitan centres throughout NSW and the ACT. Unlike the Talbot, these Vinnies services don’t always enjoy a high profile and the benefit of the community support it brings. The amalgamation of these homeless facilities under the umbrella of Matthew Talbot Homeless Services will enable the Society to make greater use of resources and be more strategic in implementing proven successful approaches to break the cycle of homelessness across its services.52

This consolidated approach has indeed enabled the Society to build on new and existing capacities in the planning and delivery of homeless services. The venture has seen marked improvements in communication between services, enabling a greater sharing of resources, support and, most importantly, expertise. Learning and recreation programs in place across a range of the Society’s homeless services have become a particular focus of this shared expertise, leading to a range of service progressions typified by the decision to create the Ozanam Learning Centre. Senior Manager of Mathew Talbot Homeless Services, Trish O‘Donohue identifies the importance of learning and recreation programs in facilitating the success of more basic services. She notes the debilitating effects of depression (which, she observes, often derives from a lack of self-worth) and the positive impact recreational activities such as art and music, provided in a non-judgmental environment, can have in building self-esteem. Management notes it is also necessary to offer a sufficient range of programs to accommodate peoples’ different areas of strength; the logic being that improvements in client self-esteem can foster a desire to help others.53 It is perceived that recreation can be similarly effective for those who have suffered trauma, as it provides a medium for otherwise attenuating anger and frustration. Matthew Talbot Homeless Services advocates a holistic approach, with considerable emphasis placed on recreational activities. “The stronger the person becomes, the more confident they become [and] the more capable they are to meet the challenges that come up for them.” 54 This integrated approach not only addresses personal challenges, but acknowledges correlations with better parenting, healthier families and more inclusive communities. Quamby House, a centre for single homeless men in Albury, is an example of one of the progressive programs offered through Matthew Talbot Homeless Services that employs a dedicated Living Skills worker. In terms of recreation, the activities range from the entirely creative, such as the recently completed tile mosaic of the Vinnies symbol and a depiction of the men’s life journey around it, to the more practical.

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Practical activities include the maintenance of a vegetable garden and cooking classes, using the produce from the garden. This equips the men with the ability to prepare their own nutritious meals, but also with the knowledge of how to grow the ingredients. Importantly, the majority of these recreational activities are centred upon teamwork, enabling clients to build vital social, cooperative and networking skills. Many of the recreation programs in place at various Matthew Talbot Homeless Services facilities have been developed around environmental factors, taking particular account of the respective facilities’ designs and locations. The Jim Da Silva Farm in Nowra, situated in a semi-rural setting has effectively utilised its tranquil, retreat-like environment to inspire clients to engage in a range of innovative and idiosyncratic recreation activities of their own making. Upon arriving at ‘The Farm’, one client in particular, having experienced an incredible level of trauma during his long history of urban homelessness, expressed a desire to do “something creative”.55 He asked if he could be taken to local building materials recyclers to source materials. Having found the broken shell of a boat at the local rubbish tip, he spent months lovingly restoring the vessel in a shed at ‘The Farm’. This restoration process served as a metaphor for the client’s personal healing, enabling him to rediscover the parts of himself he had long thought lost. Art therapy is another program that is prevalent throughout the Society’s services, such as at the Marian Centre, producing particular benefits to women for whom English is a second language. Management explains that it enables them to “express their feelings and tell their stories through art.” Art therapy can have similar benefits for children, sometimes enabling the identification of psychological issues that may require professional attention through referral. Trish O’Donohue recognises one of the strengths of Matthew Talbot Homeless Services’ programs to be the prevalence of partnerships with outside organisations. Many services, such as Matthew Talbot Hostel and Quamby House, are affiliated with TAFE, which allows clients to undertake numeracy, literacy and education programs. Further examples of community cooperation are evident in Local Councils offering complimentary or heavily discounted use of public recreation facilities such as swimming pools and gymnasiums, or Indigenous artists visiting the centres to work with client groups. Amelie House has a relationship with the ethical cosmetics retailer The Body Shop, which provides for pampering days with complimentary products, vouchers and treatments. Matthew Talbot Homeless Services’ programs aim to strike a balance between structure and flexibility within the system. The capacity of respective homeless service managers to access direct funding affords them the flexibility to develop programs specific to their clients’ wants and needs.56 This flexibility is sometimes facilitated by a number of factors, such as community partnerships, as well as the instances of skilled clients who pass through the services. These clients are often able to adjust existing programs, or create new programs based on their particular skills. An example of such an adjustment occurred at Amelie House, which hosts cookery courses for women. One of the clients undertaking the course was a Thai migrant, who had run her own restaurant in Thailand. She was therefore able to take over the facilitator’s role, and teach the class herself. The result was mutual gain, as it served to break down cultural barriers between herself and the other women, as well as to educate the class regarding meal preparation. Management contends that peer support is encouraged within the Society’s services, as it enables those with skills to build up the confidence to utilise them, and subsequentially pass this onto those they are teaching. While many of Matthew Talbot Homeless Services more publicised services involve homeless men (due mainly to the stringent safety and security provisions attached to women’s refuges), Trish O’Donohue emphasises the strength of

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


the recreational and educational programs for women, which she attributes in part to the demands of individual centres. She comments that all of the women’s refuges have comprehensive programs including arts, massage, yoga, educational programs and pampering days. Furthermore these programs are run locally, to accommodate childcare needs. The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW President, Barbara Ryan maintains her integral involvement in the direction of the Society’s homeless programs through her additional role as President of Matthew Talbot Homeless Services. She explains that much of the design of services at the Ozanam Learning Centre was informed by the success of learning and recreational programs at the Society’s Surry Hills homeless persons’ facility, Charles O’Neill House. The education programs with TAFE and Sydney Grammar were initiated at Charles O’Neill House.57 Educators ran a series of programs at the facility, helping clients to become aware of their abilities, cope with everyday life and work towards independent living.58 It has been observed that many of the clients, some with pronounced literacy difficulties were able to rejoin the workforce. “That couldn’t have happened without education”, says Barbara Ryan. The core elements to the success of these programs, she adds, are motivation, stimulation and education. “They go one after the other.” The Living Skills component of learning programs is deemed critical. The emphasis on living skills is linked to the notion that these types of programs are critical in developing an individual’s ability to secure employment and become an active member of the community.59 This transitionary process is thought to be central to breaking the cycle of homelessness and sustaining people through education. It is this rationale that guides the provision of homeless learning and recreation programs throughout Matthew Talbot Homeless Services. This rationale is also apparent in the flagship facility and consolidated services namesake, the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

7: Learning and recreation across Matthew Talbot Homeless Services

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8

Learning and recreation at the Matthew Talbot Hostel

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


8: Learning and recreation at the Matthew Talbot Hostel Established in 1938 at the Church of St John in Kent Street, Sydney, the Matthew Talbot Hostel, now located in Woolloomooloo, is the largest homeless facility in the southern hemisphere. Catering to homeless men, the Hostel’s scope has developed considerably from its early provision of food and shelter to now incorporate a range of progressive, integrated and adaptive support services for a diverse range of clients. The Matthew Talbot Hostel offers a Living Skills program with the goal of equipping clients with skills to aid their transition into permanent housing. Education and Activities Manager, Annabel Dulhunty indicates the program has been shaped in response to demands from Housing NSW for documentation demonstrating clients’ skills in budgeting, teamwork and socialising, in order to prevent potential neighbourhood issues upon the client’s eventual placement in conventional housing.60 Management highlights the benefits of cooking classes, which primarily have the three-fold aims of: encouraging interaction between client and facilitator; building client confidence; and, creating a sense of community, as clients and staff then eat together. Further included in the program is personal care, hygiene and cleaning. Staff note the success of the program, as outlined in the feedback from Housing NSW. The Living Skills program is further shaped in response to client feedback groups, which have affected factors such as the regularity of cooking classes, and the inclusion of grooming into the program. The Living Skills program also provides information sessions for clients on issues pertaining to drugs, mental health, and Hepatitis B, which have shown similar success. In addition to the highly practical Living Skills program, the Hostel offers more reflective courses in art and music. These courses are intended to accommodate a spectrum of demands, from highly structured art therapy classes, to the provision of creative space to those who wish to express themselves outside of the classroom format. Some such clients are in the process of extending an existing mural on the outside wall of the Hostel, while others have participated in the Urban Lens project, which allowed them to creatively interpret their urban surrounds through the medium of photography. Artist and photographer, Megan Carmont volunteered as coordinator of the Urban Lens project. “The photography workshops”, she says, “gave the men the opportunity to engage with others in a positive communal environment while developing a skill, exploring their creative side, and achieving a sense of hope, dignity and self-empowerment.”61 Importantly, the project also facilitated interaction with the mainstream community, with the photographs being displayed to the general public at the Global Gallery, Paddington. The Hostel’s art therapy sessions are structured around goal setting, using art therapy theory as a foundation. Similar options are presented to clients in regards to music; the Hostel hosts ‘Open Band Jam’ sessions where clients are free to perform independently, as well as structured guitar lessons. If they do opt for lessons, they have the opportunity to build on this as the Hostel offers a recording space that clients are able to utilise, as well as the ‘MT Hands’ band that

8: Learning and recreation at the Matthew Talbot Hostel

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they can perform with. ‘MT Hands’ performed in front of tens of thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims at the Vinnies World Youth 4 Justice Concert, Barangaroo, 17 July 2008. In terms of peer education, the Hostel trialled a woodwork program operated solely by clients; however, this was unsuccessful due to the irregularity of client attendance. Annabel Dulhunty indicates that a more common scenario is that if there is a client in attendance with particular skills, they have the option to act in a co-facilitation capacity. Such an informal arrangement appears to be more appropriate to the nature of homelessness. She offers an instance where this co-facilitation model was particularly successful, when a client undertaking an IT course displayed particular skill. The client was not only useful in teaching the course at the Hostel, but also travelled with teacher to external classes, to voluntarily act as his assistant. The Hostel also operates a working relationship with external learning institutions, such as TAFE. This allows clients to sit examinations, and obtain certification. Those clients who have managed to attend the full course at the Hostel have succeeded in completing Certificate II courses in warehouse and distribution, as well as IT courses. While clients cannot obtain any higher certification than this at the Hostel, staff are able to assist them in accessing external institutions. The Hostel attempts to account for the full spectrum of clients at the facilitiy, and therefore maintain the importantance of offering less formal recreation opportunities for those reluctant to engage with any sort of structured program. For this reason there is a recreation area within the Hostel, where clients are at liberty to play games such as ping-pong and scrabble. Similarly, there are opportunities for clients to go on outings to, for example, art galleries, cinemas, and museums. These destinations are decided upon via client feedback. One of the key challenges the Hostel faces at present is maintaining attendance rates to programs. This is especially relevant when considering programs offered by external institutions, as clients are unable to obtain certification without attending these courses in their entirety. The Hostel staff are attempting to overcome this problem by making training courses as short as possible, and notes that it is the intensive programs which produce the highest completion rates. Further challenges presented by the Hostel in its current state are issues of space; space in which to hold classes, the interference of the noise of the ping-pong table, which is situated in the recreation area, and the ramifications of crowding. Clearly, the successes of the programs offered at the Hostel were augmented by a series of challenges and opportunities, many of which prompted the development of the Ozanam Learning Centre.

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


8: Learning and recreation at the Matthew Talbot Hostel

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9

The Ozanam Learning Centre

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


9. The Ozanam Learning Centre The Ozanam Learning Centre’s structure and programs will be based on client feedback and best practice research, which includes interacting with homeless women’s groups and drawing on available studies. Annabel Dulhunty has overseen a ‘needs assessment’ analysis both to determine an exit strategy out of homelessness, and to identify client perceptions of their own learning and recreation needs. The analysis comprises a quantitative basic survey distributed to 80 respondents, semistructured interviews conducted with 18 respondents, and a focus group of 6 staff members. Trish O’Donohue identifies a second function of the Centre to be a “catchment resource area where we can document and have on file the work we are doing across the state, so that people don’t have to replicate different programs and services.”61 It will therefore theoretically act as a tool for monitoring and evaluating programs, facilitating regular improvements of services, as well as simplifying the research process for those who wish to implement new programs. Included in this resource function, is the capacity to offer smaller community groups such as the Sydney Street Choir or the Men’s Shed the opportunity to utilise the space either to work with clients, or for independent use. The size of the site makes this possible. Management sees the greatest opportunity offered by the Centre to be the available space. This will allow a greater number of training providers to offer more courses in discreet classrooms. Other benefits, which correlate with issues raised in the needs assessment are, a quiet reading room, the capacity to run more cooking courses – which are very popular – and a large recreational area with many more computers than in the current hostel, serving to address the high demand for internet access. The increase in classrooms will allow the Centre to offer a far broader scope of courses and accommodate the more obscure requests of clients, such as meditation, as well as to further develop previously successful programs such as job-skills. The larger range of activities on offer will serve to support the recreational diversional therapy aspect of the Centre, again responding to client comments that issues of addiction and depression are often magnified by boredom. Similarly, there will be classes run in this recreational area – Anabel Dulhunty believes that this accessibility of courses will encourage more clients to take part. The structure of the Centre will mean that there is more space for clients to utilise for personal recreation, which is relevant as one feature of the homeless is that they often do not have access to space in which they can feel safe and comfortable. She further postulates that the new furnishings and fresh paint will aid in improving the client self-esteem. In terms of access to the space, greater attempts will be made to create links with the community. As the space is much larger and will be open to women as well as others who are not registered with the Mathew Talbot Hostel, management has acknowledged a myriad of potential problems may eventuate. Therefore, great caution is being employed in determining a range of strategies to deal with such problems. These include training staff in responding to issues arising from domestic violence and abuse, establishing a referral system, a behaviour management code, and the introduction of a register to be signed upon entry to the Centre in order to track clients’ attendance and usage patterns.

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All public spaces in the Centre will be open for the male and female populations to mix, and will be monitored by facilitators and security cameras, for client safety. Furthermore, crisis support will be determined to respond to acute problems, and will draw on relations with community organisations, particularly in the case of women. Ongoing evaluation of the Centre will be conducted via weekly client feedback sessions. Evaluation will comprise an initial base-line survey one month after opening the Centre in order to ascertain how many people are accessing the facility, and the outcomes to date. Subsequent surveys will be conducted biannually, to determine levels of engagement. Management hopes to introduce higher levels of evaluation than previously employed at the Matthew Talbot Hostel, for example choosing clients at random and tracking their progression over a 6 month period in order to assess any improvement in quality of life. The aim is to measure peoples’ awareness of services, comfort and interest in programs using surveys. While Anabel Dulhunty is unsure how the Centre will function in 5 years time, she would like to have built up client confidence, skills and social networks. Trish O’Donohue notes that there can be disadvantages associated with an overly centralised facility, such as the fact that it excludes children and remote groups from physically accessing the programs. However, she addresses this obstacle, by maintaining that transport should be provided for outer-metropolitan groups, and that there should be a dedicated space for women to utilise. While she deems that the risks render it impossible for children to enter this space, she suggests that childcare be offered at Vincentian House when it moves to Crown Street, as it would be easily accessible. A dedicated childcare facility would further provide for women visiting the Centre from remote areas.

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


9: The Ozanam Learning Centre

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10

Challenges and opportunities

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


10. Challenges and opportunities This study of learning and recreation programs in the broader context of homeless services prompts the following conclusions: (1) As demonstrated by both theoretical and practical determinants, the viability of learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness is contingent on the integrity of client feedback models. (2) The most appropriate method of assisting oppressed heterogeneous groups is by facilitating their empowerment through the provision of access to interpretative resources. (3) Success is subject to a facility’s capacity to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the homeless population and the inherent complexities of the experience of homelessness. (4) Wherever possible, programs should maintain parity and interaction with mainstream learning and recreation opportunities, thus avoiding ‘special needs’ labelling and facilitating feasible transitions into the community. The Ozanam Learning Centre will house a suite of learning and recreation programs on a scale unrivalled in Australia. The scope of the Centre presents opportunities to heighten the integration of proven and progressive services in a way that in many cases, is previously untried. Of course, the extent of the programs on offer also presents challenges in respect to their planning, implementation, operation and evaluation. The ability to confront, overcome and learn from these challenges in a sustained and innovative manner will be an important test of the Centre’s viability. The most salient and vital measure of the Centre’s success will be its ability to inculcate positive and lasting change in the lives of the people it serves, to facilitate the meaningful empowerment of traumatised individuals. The rapidly changing nature of the homeless population and the inherent complexities of the experience of homelessness mean that, in seeking to achieve its goals, the Centre will be assailed by a constant imperative to adapt and renew. This is perhaps the greatest challenge. Barbara Ryan, President of Matthew Talbot Homeless Services confirms the Centre’s readiness for change; “If we don’t change all the time with the changing circumstances we are not going to be a good service.”62 She continues, “One of the things that has forged the good reputation of so many of our services is that we are continually changing to meet the needs of the people of the time.” With more than half of the homeless population (57.7%) now under the age of 35, it is beholden on homeless services to meet needs associated with this younger demographic. Greater mobility is one of the emerging challenges presented by this segment of the population, who often seek to secure a greater degree of personal (physical and psychological) security by remaining ‘on the move’. Informed via ongoing communication with the Society’s homeless services across the state, it is observed that mobility is more common in country areas and on the fringes of cities; in the inner city the homeless population is thought to be more stable.63

10: Challenges and opportunities

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The Ozanam Learning Centre will have the capacity to engage this mobile segment of the population. As Barbara Ryan explains, “the Centre will also offer training to staff members, with the intention of enabling them to see how its programs work and how to implement them in country areas.” Given the nature of the programs planned for the Centre it is evident that training could be a two-way transaction. Many of the innovative learning and recreation initiatives currently achieving success in a selection of the Society’s rural facilities are set for adapted implementation in the Ozanam Learning Centre. Given the dictates of empowerment theory and its relevance to the viability of learning and recreation programs, one of the key indicators of the Centre’s success will be the fidelity of the client feedback models employed to inform service evaluation and development. This is perhaps an area that could best be refined once the Centre has moved through the early stages of operation and recognisable patterns of use become apparent. It is, however, a factor that will be critical to the facility’s ability to achieve its goal of securing sustainable levels of independence among its client base. Community engagement is a critical feature of any progressive homeless service. Facilities that isolate the homeless or ‘warehouse’ them away from the mainstream community risk impeding the ability of clients to successfully reintegrate into society. Again, the Ozanam Learning Centre has a range of contingencies in place to prevent this. Management ties their response to this challenge to the facility’s visible preventative dimension. In addition to serving the homeless, the Centre also seeks to attend to people at risk of homelessness by opening its doors to community groups. In acknowledgement of depression as a recognised contributing cause of homelessness, mental health groups will be invited to participate in courses at the Centre. It is not intended to be a segregated facility; rather, one that is open to the general community. The building is structured to accommodate people exhibiting different levels of need and requiring different degrees of support. As Barbara Ryan explains: Anyone can access the service. If it is motivation they need, they can access the part of the premises that is activities only. If they are moving on into education, they can access the part of the Centre where all of the education programs take place. There is a fine dividing line, without being a barrier; one area which is activities to stimulate, the other, education for people who are moving on.

With many clients expected to reach the point of re-entry into the mainstream community, it is clear that the Centre will for many people be a pivotal stage of transition and change. The Ozanam Learning Centre also marks a remarkable era of transition and change for the St Vincent de Paul Society; a period marked by the roll-out of a range of positive Vincentian initiatives like the Rural Task Force for drought afflicted communities and the SPARK program for refugee children. Both of these recent St Vincent de Paul Society ventures have made an extraordinary impact in a relatively short period of time and both have proved sustainable, most notably through their ability to adapt to changing world, and local conditions. This will be the key to the success of the Ozanam Learning Centre. The Society’s proven drive to change and renew without losing sight of the lessons of the past and the spirit of its mission confirms this most recent exercise in capacity building rests upon sound foundations.

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Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Endnotes C. Chamberlain & D. MacKenzie, “Counting the Homeless: Implications for Policy Development”, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2041.0. Note: Chamberlain and MacKenzie stress that the categories primary, secondary and tertiary “are useful categories to describe peoples housing situations, particularly on census night, but there are not three distinct groups of homeless people… Transience [between categories] is the typical pattern.” See: C. Chamberlain & D. MacKenzie, “Counting the Homeless 2006”, Australian Census Analytic Program, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2050.0. 2 C. Chamberlain & D. MacKenzie, “Counting the Homeless 2001”, Australian Census Analytic Program, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2050.0. 3 ibid. 4 ibid. 5 ibid. 6 “Definition of Homelessness”, Supported Accommodation Assistance Act (1994) Section 4, Commonwealth Consolidated Acts, Canberra, 1994. 7 S. Utick, Captain Charles: Engineer of Charity, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2007. 8 See: B. Elder, “In Lawson’s Tracks”, Griffith Review, No. 19, Autumn 2008, pp. 93-95, 113-115; also: C. Lloyd, “Poor Naked Wretches”, in P. Nicol Troy (ed.), A History of European Housing in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 287-305. 9 I. Webster, “Homelessness and Mental Health Forum”, World Youth Day Lecture Series, Sydney, 16 July 2008. 10 Much of the historical and present day lack of action regarding homelessness among Indigenous Australians stems from cultural misconceptions. As researchers from the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness observe: “There is a commonly held view in parts of Australia that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness has cultural origins and may be a matter of choice rather than a personally devastating experience. This myth has no substance and its existence underlines the urgency of developing and disseminating a better understanding of the unique nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness.” See: R. Direen, “Indigenous Homelessness within Australia”, Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIA/indig_homelessness/$File/Indigenous_Homelessness_within_Australia.pdf, 2006 (accessed: 19 September 2008). 11 “The first national programs to assist homeless people were established in the 1970s by the Whitlam government. Non government agencies received capital funding for shelters and funding for some operational costs, such as a subsidy for the number of meals provided each day.” See: “Homelessness: A New Approach”, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http://www.facsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/housing/homelessness_newapproach.htm, 2008 (accessed: 15 September 2008). 12 The emerging inclusion of socio-economic factors into poverty research in the mid-1970s was typically referred to as a “situational view of poverty.” Writing in 1979, researcher, Peter Hollingworth explained the “situational view” as reflecting the idea that “people are poor because they have no access to a basic income [and] to essential goods and services.” See: P. Hollingworth, Australians in Poverty, Thomas Nelson, West Melbourne, 1979, p. ix. The Commission of Inquiry into Poverty, commissioned by the Whitlam government and released in 1975, exemplifies the beginnings of a formal government response to homelessness; see: R. F. Henderson (Chair), “The Commission of Inquiry into Poverty”, Poverty in Australia, Canberra, 1975. 13 Webster, op. cit. 14 Refer to the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP), established in 1985. “Supported accommodation assistance program (SAAP)”, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (online), http://www.aihw.gov.au/housing/sacs/saap/index.cfm, 2007 (accessed: 15 September 2008). 15 In March 2000 the then Australian Council of Social Services president, Michael Raper stated: “A whole raft of social policy responses is needed to make some inroads into reducing the incidence of homelessness in our community.” See: M. Raper, “Tackling the causes of homelessness”, Australian Council of Social Services (online), http://www.acoss.org.au/upload/ publications/papers/info%20203.pdf, 2000 (accessed: 19 September 2008). 16 The notion of agency is particularly prevalent in child development theory as a device to overcome social exclusion, family breakdown and economic disadvantage. See: G. Redmond, “Children’s perspectives of economic adversity: a review of the literature”, Social Policy Research Centre, SPRC Discussion Paper No. 149, February 2008. 17 L. B. Fosburg & D. L. Dennis, “The 1998 National Symposium on Homelessness Research”, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC,1998. 18 D. Fisk, & J. Frey, “Employing people with psychiatric disabilities to engage homeless individuals through supported socialisation: The Buddies project” Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, vol. 26(2) 2002; See also S. Tsemberis & C. Elfenbein, “A perspective on voluntary and involuntary outreach services for the homeless mentally ill”, New Directions in Mental Health Service, vol. 82, 1999.

Endnotes

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Endnotes continued 19 C. A. Helfrich & F. L. Fogg, “Outcomes of a life skills intervention for homeless adults with mental illness”, Journal of Primary Prevention, vol. 28, 2007, p. 316. These sentiments are backed by David Wright-Howe of the Council to Homeless Persons who observes: “The involvement of people who are homeless as key stakeholders in the research process is seen as vitally important and participants considered it very valuable to provide research findings back to the research participants.” See: D. Wright-Howe, “National Homeless Research Seminar, April 2007: Outcomes Summary Paper”, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/via/homelessness_two/$File/ nhrs_outcomes_may07.pdf, 2007 (accessed: 19 September 2008). 20 Refer to the discussion on ‘agency’ in section 3 of this report. 21 P. J. Carling, “Access to housing: Cornerstone of the American dream” Journal of Rehabilitation, July/August, 1989, pg. 6; see also: Tsemberis & Elfenbein, op. cit. 22 C. Wang & Y. Redwood-Jones, “Photovoice ethics: Perspectives from Flint Photovoice”, Health Education and Behavior, vol. 28, 2001. 23 Interviews conducted with three homeless persons in the outer Sydney metropolitan area confirm ‘form fatigue’ and other service demands can be a source of significant anxiety among the homeless population. Barry, aged 52 says, “Everywhere you go, there’s always more forms to fill out, more rules. I can’t be bothered.” Alison, aged 25 explains, “When you try and get help, there’s always a queue, always a list and things to fill-out. I’ve already given my information. Why cant the different services talk to each other?” Yusuf, aged 29 says, “I get embarrassed having to constantly tell people what’s happened to me. I feel like they’re looking down on me.” Source: A. Marks, “Interviews with homeless persons in the Katoomba region”, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Parramatta Diocese: Katoomba Region, 15 July 2008. 24 G. Kielhofner, A Model of Human Occupation: Theory and Application, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Chicago, 2002. 25 M. Harrington & D. Dawson, “Recreation as empowerment for homeless people living in shelters”, Journal of Leisurability, vol. 24(1), 1997. 26 M. A. Kraljic, The Homeless Problem, Wilson, New York, 1992 as cited in Harrington & Dawson, op. cit. 27 P. W. Dail, “Recreation as socialisation for the homeless: An argument for inclusion”, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, vol. 63(4), 1992, p. 39. 28 B. Ovrebo, “Understanding the needs of homeless and near-homeless people” in R. I. Jahiel (ed.) Homelessness: A prevention-oriented approach, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1992, p. 143. 29 Some commentators have claimed that the effectiveness of the Centre has been undermined by the low levels of funding supplied by the Howard government. For detail see: “PM should be embarrassed”, The Official Website of the Australian Labour Party, media statement at http://www.alp.org.au/media/0905/mshou260.php, 2005 (accessed 30 September, 2008). 30 “Case Study, Financial Literacy” Westpac Bank (online), http://www.westpac.com.au/Internet/Publish.nsf/Content/WICRCSCS+Financial+literacy, 2008 (accessed 12 September 2008). 31 M. Pressnell, “Mission Australia Centre: Outcome Final Report”, Mission Australia (online), http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/via/homelessness/$file/MAC_Report.pdf, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008), p. 50. 32 “Youth Employment Education and Training Initiative: Program Overview”, Melbourne City Mission (online), http://gatewayreconnect.org/yeeti, 2007 (accessed 12 September 2008). 33 ibid. 34 D. Crawford, “Melbourne CityMission Review of the Youth Employment Education and Training Initiative” YEETI Program Review (online) http://www.gatewayreconnect.org/database/yeeti/ uploads/YEETI%20Program%20Review.pdf (accessed 29 September 2008). 35 ibid. 36 ibid. 37 Only 81 surveys were returned; indeed this in itself could be indicative of the limited reach of the program. 38 “Edward Eagar Lodge”, Wesley Mission (online), http://www.wesleymission.org.au/centres/homeless/old/eelodge.asp, 2008 (accessed 29 September 2008). 39 “MilkCrate Theatre”, Darlinghurst Theatre Co. (online), http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/page/projectssponsorslinks.html, 2008 (accessed 29 Septermber 2008). 40 “Making university education accessible to disadvantaged Australians”, Mission Australia (online), http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/news/media-releases/644-making-university-educationaccessible-to-disadvantaged-australians, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). 41 Oasis is supported by corporate donorship, and several of the programs receive no government funding. For details see: H. Alexander, “An oasis for the homeless who want an education”, Sydney Morning Herald (online), http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/an-oasis-for-the-homeless-who-want-an-education/2007/08/23/1187462441738.html, 2007 (accessed 30 September

38

2008).

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


42 “Homelessness Act 2002” Office of Public Sector Information (online), http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2002/ukpga_20020007_en_1, 2002 (accessed 30 September 2008). 43 “Fifteen homelessness charities and social enterprises selected to compete for £500,000 prize fund”, Communities and Local Government (online), http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/ corporate/716425, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). 44 “Canada’s new government commits $526 million to combat homelessness and extend funding for renovation programs”, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (online), http://www. cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/corp/nero/nere/2006/2006-12-19-1500.cfm, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008). 45 “Federal and provincial ministers to jointly address homelessness in Ontario”, Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (online), http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/news/ releases/080402.htm, 2008 (accessed 12 September 2008). 46 C. Thomas, “Homlessness and poverty – it does exist in PEI”, Cory Thomas, City Councillor for Ward 8-Wilmont (online), http://ward8wilmot.blogspot.com/2007/11/homelessness-andpoverty-it-does-exist.html, 2007 (accessed 12 September 2008). 47 J. Vitullo-Martin, “Homlessness in America”, The Wall Street Journal, (online) http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_wsj-homeless_in_america.htm, 2007 (accessed 13 September 2008). 48 “Program Assessment: U.S. interagency council on homelessness”, ExpectMore.gov (online), http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/expectmore/summary/10006246.2006.html, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008). 49 For an example see: “Commissioner Gibbs joins Mayor Bloomberg and take the field founder Richard Kahan to announce plans to transform park slope armory”, NYC Department of Homeless Services (online), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/press/pr072204.shtml, 2004 (accessed 12 September 2008). 50 For an American example, see: The Carpenter’s Place (online), http://www.carpentersplace.org/index2.htm, 2008 (accessed 13 September 2008). 51 For an example see: “A Progress Report on ‘Uniting for solutions beyond shelter: the action plan for New York City’”, NYC Department of Homeless Services (online), http://www.nyc.gov/html/ dhs/html/home/home.shtml, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). 52 A. Marks, “Sir William Deane launches Matthew Talbot Homeless Services”, Vision, Issue 59, April 2007. 53 ibid. 54 A. Marks, “Interview with Trish O’Donohue”, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council, Lewisham, 13 August 2008. 55 A. Marks, “Hope springs eternal at the farm”, Vision, Issue 62, Autumn, 2008. 56 O’Donohue exemplifies an instance of a mother and child, both with intellectual disabilities. The mother struggled particularly around the evening meal time. When a Society refuge established that they both enjoyed swimming, it was able to access funds to pay for after-school swimming lessons for the pair, which served to diffuse the tension between the two. Furthermore, a case worker prepared a meal at lunchtime, so when they returned home from swimming they only had to heat up their evening meal. This reduced the risk of child protection agencies becoming involved. 57 A. Marks, “Interview with Barbara Ryan”, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council, Lewisham, 29 August 2008. 58 ibid. 59 C. Douglas & A. Marks, “Interview with Annabel Dulhunty”, Matthew Talbot Hostel, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, Woolloomooloo, 12 September 2008. 60 A. Ireland, “Urban Lens: A homeless men’s photographic exhibition”, Frontline, Issue 24, Spring 2008. 61 A. Marks, “Interview with Trish O’Donohue”, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council, Lewisham, 13 August 2008. 62 “Interview with Barbara Ryan”, op. cit. 63 ibid.

Endnotes

39


Bibliography “A Progress Report on ‘Uniting for solutions beyond shelter: the action plan for New York City’”, NYC Department of Homeless Services (online), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/home/home. shtml, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). “Canada’s new government commits $526 million to combat homelessness and extend funding for renovation programs”. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (online), http://www.cmhcschl.gc.ca/en/corp/nero/nere/2006/2006-12-19-1500.cfm, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008). “Case Study: Financial Literacy”. Westpac Bank (online), http://www.westpace.com.au/Internet/Publish.nsf/Content/WICRCSCS+Financial+literacy, 2008 (accessed 12 September 2008). “Commissioner Gibbs joins Mayor Bloomberg and Take the Field founder Richard Kahan to announce plans to transform Park Slope Armory”, NYC Department of Homeless Services (online), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/press/pr072204.shtml, 2004 (accessed 12 September 2008). “Definition of Homelessness”, Supported Accommodation Assistance Act (1994), Section 4, Commonwealth Consolidated Acts, Canberra, 1994. “Edward Eagar Lodge”, Wesley Mission (online), http://www.wesleymission.org.au/centres/homeless/old/eelodge.asp, 2008 (accessed 29 September 2008). “Federal and provincial ministers to jointly address homelessness in Ontario”, Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (online), http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/news/ releases/080402.htm, 2008 (accessed 12 September 2008). “Fifteen homelessness charities and social enterprises selected to compete for £500,000 prize fund”, Communities and Local Government (online), http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/ corporate/716425, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). “Homelessness Act 2002”, Office of Public Sector Information (online), http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2002/ukpga_20020007_en_1, 2007 (accessed 30 September 2008). “Homelessness: A New Approach”, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http://www.facsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/housing/ homelessness_newapproach.htm, 2008 (accessed: 15 September 2008). “Making university education accessible to disadvantaged Australians”, Mission Australia (online), http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/news/media-releases/644-making-university-educationaccessible-to-disadvantaged-australians, 2008 (accessed 30 September 2008). “MilkCrate Theatre”, Darlinghurst Theatre Co. (online), http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/page/projectssponsorslinks.html, 2008 (accessed 29 Septermber 2008). “PM should be embarrassed”, The Official Website of the Australian Labour Party (online), http://www.alp.org.au/media/0905/mshou260.php, 2006 (accessed 30 September 2008). “Program Assessment: U.S. interagency council on homelessness”, ExpectMore.gov (online), http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/expectmore/summary/10006246.2006.html, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008). “Supported accommodation assistance program (SAAP)”, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (online), http://www.aihw.gov.au/housing/sacs/saap/index.cfm, 2007 (accessed 15 September 2008). “Youth Employment Education and Training Initiative: Program Overview”, Melbourne CityMission (online), http://gatewayreconnect.org/yeeti, 2007 (accessed 12 September 2008). Alexander, H. “An oasis for the homeless who want an education”, Sydney Morning Herald (online), http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/an-oasis-for-the-homeless-who-want-aneducation/2007/08/23/1187462441738.html, 2007 (accessed 30 September 2008). Carling, P. J. “Access to housing: Cornerstone of the American dream”, Journal of Rehabilitation, July/August, 1989.

40

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Chamberlain, C. & MacKenzie, D. “Counting the Homeless 2001”. Australian Census Analytic Program, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2050.0. Chamberlain, C. & MacKenzie, D. “Counting the Homeless 2006”, Australian Census Analytic Program, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2050.0. Chamberlain, C. & MacKenzie, D. “Counting the Homeless: Implications for Policy Development”, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, ABS cat. no. 2041.0. Crawford, D. “Melbourne CityMission Review of the Youth Employment Education and Training Initiative”, YEETI Program Review (online), http://www.gatewayreconnect.org/database/yeeti/ uploads/YEETI%20Program%20Review.pdf, 2008 (accessed 29 September 2008). Dail, P. W. “Recreation as socialisation for the homeless: An argument for inclusion”, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, vol. 63(4), 1992. Direen, R. “Indigenous Homelessness within Australia”, Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIAindig_ homelessness/$File/Indigenous_Homelessness_within_Australia.pdf, 2006 (accessed 19 September 2008). Douglas, C. & Marks, A .“Interview with Annabel Dulhunty”, Matthew Talbot Hostel, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, Woolloomooloo, 12 September 2008. Elder, B. “In Lawson’s Tracks”, Griffith Review, No. 19, Autumn 2008. Fisk, D. & Frey, J. “Employing people with psychiatric disabilities to engage homeless individuals through supported socialisation: The Buddies project”, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, vol. 26(2), 2002. Fosburg, L. B. & Dennis, D. L. “The 1998 National Symposium on Homelessness Research”, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, 1998. Harrington, M. & Dawson, D. “Recreation as empowerment for homeless people living in shelters”, Journal of Leisurability, vol 24(1), 1997. Helfrich C. A. & Fogg F. L. “Outcomes of a life skills intervention for homeless adults with mental illness”, Journal of Primary Prevention, vol. 28, 2007. Henderson R. F. (Chair), “The Commission of Inquiry into Poverty”, Poverty in Australia, Canberra, 1975. Hollingworth, P. Australians in Poverty. Thomas Nelson, West Melbourne, 1979. Ireland, A. “Urban Lens: A homeless men’s photographic exhibition”, Frontline, Issue 24, Spring 2008. Jahiel, R. I. (ed.) Homelessness: A prevention-oriented approach, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1992. Kielhofner, G. A. Model of Human Occupation: Theory and Application, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Chicago, 2002. Kraljic, M. A. The homeless problem, Wilson, New York, 1992. Marks, A. “Hope springs eternal at the farm”, Vision, Issue 62, Autumn, 2008. Marks, A. “Interview with Barbara Ryan”, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council, Lewisham, 29 August 2008. Marks, A. “Interview with Trish O’Donohue”, Matthew Talbot Homeless Services, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council, Lewisham, 13 August 2008. Marks, A. “Interviews with homeless persons in the Katoomba region”, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Parramatta Diocese: Katoomba Region, 15 July 2008 Marks, A. “Sir William Deane launches Matthew Talbot Homeless Services”, Vision, Issue 59, April 2007.

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Bibliography continued Nicol Troy, P. (ed.) A History of European Housing in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. Pressnell, M. “Mission Australia Centre: Outcome Final Report”, Mission Australia (online) http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/via/homelessness/$file/MAC_Report.pdf, 2006 (accessed 12 September 2008). Raper, M. “Tackling the causes of homelessness”. Australian Council of Social Services (online), http://www.acoss.org.au/upload/publications/papers/info%20203.pdf, 2000 (accessed 19 September 2008). Redmond, G. “Children’s perspectives of economic adversity: a review of the literature”, Social Policy Research Centre, SPRC Discussion Paper No. 149, February 2008. The Carpenter’s Place (online), http://www.carpentersplace.org/index2.htm, 2008 (accessed 13 September 2008). Thomas, C. “Homlessness and poverty – it does exist in PEI”, Cory Thomas, City Councillor for Ward 8-Wilmont (online), http://ward8wilmot.blogspot.com/2007/11/homelessness-and-poverty-itdoes-exist.html, 2007 (accessed 12 September 2008). Tsemberis, S. & Elfenbein, C. “A perspective on voluntary and involuntary outreach services for the homeless mentally ill”, New Directions in Mental Health Service, vol. 82, 1999. Utick, S. Captain Charles: Engineer of Charity, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2007. Vitullo-Martin, J. “Homlessness in America”, The Wall Street Journal (online), http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_wsj-homeless_in_america.htm, 2007 (accessed 13 September 2008). Wang, C. & Redwood-Jones, Y. “Photovoice ethics: Perspectives from Flint Photovoice”, Health Education and Behavior, vol. 28, 2001. Webster, I. “Homelessness and Mental Health Forum”, World Youth Day Lecture Series, Sydney, 16 July 2008. Wright-Howe, D. “National Homeless Research Seminar, April 2007: Outcomes Summary Paper”, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (online), http:// www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/via/homelessness_two/$File/nhrs_outcomes_may07.pdf, 2007 (accessed 19 September 2008).

42

Life Lessons: Learning and recreation as pathways out of homelessness


Back cover image from Urban Lens Exhibition, March 2008.


www.vinnies.org.au

Life Lessons


http://vinnies.org.au/files/NSW/SocialJustice/LifeLessons_forweb_new