• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Homeless issues and services

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 4 months ago

 Homepage - Brotherhood timeline  | Service areas - home | Housing and homlessness - home



Hostel for homeless boys (“lads”) opened at 65 Brunswick Street.  The hostel closed in December 1941and became an Air Raid Precaustions and evacuation centre for the district. (Carter, I.R 1967, God and Three Shillings, p. 71)



In October 1963, the BSL was part of an interim committee that produced a draft proposal for "An Agency For Homeless Men".  (Middendorp, C 2006, Hanover, p.4)The document was written up by Connie Benn of the Citizens Welfare Service of Victoria. The objective was to humanize and improve the effectiveness of services to the homeless with a real sense of specialization. The proposal was accepted and the interim committee swiftly became a committee of management.  Hanover Street in Fitzroy provided a name for the fledgling agency along with a venue. A building at number 85 was kindly provided by the Methodist Combined Mission. In December 1963, money was found to employ Alan Jordan as the centre’s social worker (a wage of £1,400 per annum). Financial support came from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, North Melbourne Mission, Central Mission, Collins Street Independent Church and the Methodist Combined Mission – a total of £4,000. The Hanover Centre would be operational from 1 January 1964. (Middendorp, C 2006, Hanover, pp 4-5)



Peter Hollingworth appointed by Federal Minister for Housing to chair National Committee of Non-Government Organisations to review existing housing programs and identify emerging needs as preparation for the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (1987)



Preliminary planning began for a joint frail homeless persons project with Hanover Welfare Services, to tackle Melbourne's growing problem of frail homeless older people (to become the Wintringham Hostels).(Brotherhood ActionSeptember 1988, No.247, pp 1-2)


National Committee of Non-Government Organisations for International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (Peter Hollingworth, chair) produced the report Towards fair shares in Australian Housing for national consultations (Kendig, H et al. 1897 Towards fair shares in Australian housing)



A video "Be it ever so humble …", a film about some of Australia’s housing problems, was produced as part of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless and narrated by Bishop Peter Hollingworth. (Hollingworth, P 1987 Be it ever so humble ... there's no place like home - "A 25-minute VHS video.  Includes interviews with a cross-section of people with housing problems, and looks at the demand for emergency accommodation, discrimination against tenants, and the particular needs of the elderly, amongst other issues.")


Students of Northcote High School donated $400 to help with accommodation services program for older people in recognition of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless.


Jan Carter, Director of the Social Policy and Research Centre, appointed as a Commissioner to the National Inquiry into Homeless Children and Young People by the Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission.  The report Our Homeless Children was published in 1989. (BSL Annual Report 1987-1988, p.10; See Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 1989, Our homeless children)



The Active Placement Unit (APU) was established in the Fitzroy Employment Action Centre to provide a mentor program for unemployed young people.  One-third of the 60 participants in the first year were homeless. (BSL Annual Report 1991, p.7); 


BSL, following an agreement in December 1989, supported a Youth Counsellor position with Whittlesea Family Services, a 2-year experimental early intervention scheme to stem youth homelessness for young people in the Whittlesea area (BSL provides $25,000 p.a.).  His role was to mediate in difficult situations where a complete breakdown in communications prevailed and to ensure any departure was not marred by aggression and violence from either the family of young person. Commonwealth funds were also made available for training courses in interpersonal skills for disadvantaged young people. (BSL Annual report 1991, p.10;  See also Brotherhood Action, Spring 1990, p. 5 -"Scheme to prevent homelessness"; Ward, D 1990  Letter from Donna Ward to Coordinator of Whittlesea Family Services (26 March 1990))



Western Port Emergency Relief Network re-named in February as the Community Action & Resource Network for Western Port following a review of the Network in May 1990, to signal that the concerns were broader than emergency relief and to attempt to broaden the network’s appeal to funding bodies.  The group's purpose was to advocate on behalf of local community groups and people on low incomes. It obtained funding for a $100,000 homeless person’s project in south-west Gippsland and $55,000 for a youth income action project in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula as well as being funded by a Brotherhood grant of $42,000. (Holman, T 1992 On Shifting Sands, p.3, p. 32; See also BSL Overview and history of income supplementation services p. 32BSL Annual Report 1992, pp.9-10


In an action research project the Brotherhood provided some additional income to 32 homeless young people at six Melbourne secondary schools over a fortnight.  The value of the direct financial aid from the Promise the Children Trust was monitored to see how this assisted them to complete their secondary education.  This indicated that without additional support their incomes were insufficient to meet the students’ basic needs, leading to recommendations to Federal and State governments, especially that the Federal Government review all youth incomes as a matter of urgency, particularly for homeless secondary students who were currently most disadvantaged. (BSL Annual Report 1991, p.16; BSL Annual Report 1992, pp.16-17)


Young Women's Project: Support for homeless young women was a demonstration project undertaken to identify, implement and test a program model for providing personal support to young women with an experience of homelessness or who may be at risk of homelessness.  The program linked the young women with supportive adult women who provided support, friendship and opportunities for fuller participation in the community.  It was funded by the Office of the Status of Women and the Promise the Children Trust Fund.  Beyond June 1992 it became part of the Brotherhood’s services.  (BSL Annual Report 1992, p.5BSL Annual Report 1993, p.13;   Larwill, K et al 1992, Young women's project


The Dandenong Student House Project was established in December to provide housing for homeless secondary students, providing direct assistance to students who want to complete secondary school but were unable to live at home.  This was an initiative of the Peninsula Family Services in cooperation with the Dandenong Valley Youth Housing Project, with links to local secondary schools.  (BSL Annual Report 1992, p.9)



In early 1995 the Fitzroy Employment Action Centre offered the following programs & services:


  • JobSkills (paid work experience combined with formal training) 
  • Job Club (assistance with job searching) 
  • Open Access (provision of job search facilities and supports) 
  • Open Employment Unit (employment placement, onsite training and support to people with disabilities) 
  • Opening Avenues (careers investigation and jobsearch for people over 45), later called Options Now 
  • Case Management (a major Working Nation initiative that commenced in April 1994) offering individual planning and assistance to long-term unemployed mature-aged job seekers 
  • Post Program Support (which provides follow up support for former program users) 
  • A range of programs providing varying types and levels of training and support to young unemployed people with some particularly targeted at those with multiple disadvantages:

o    Active Placement Unit (vocational guidance and support)

o    Youth Unit (personal development and job search program)

o    MOVE (outdoor skills program)

o    Traineeship Access Course (preparatory training in clerical and retail areas with paid work experience)

o    The Body Shop partnership project, combining the Brotherhood’s pre-vocational training with paid work experience with The Body Shop in a twelve-month Retail Traineeship for young homeless people

o    JPET Linked Access Program (employment placement and support)

o    STEP (a Group Training Scheme utilising traineeships)

o    Housing Resource Unit (information, advice and some advocacy and financial assistance in relation to accommodation for young people using EAC Services).

o    The Disability Access Support Service which provides skilled support to Skillshare Programs across the state to increase their capacity to meet the needs of people with disabilities. 


The Central Highlands Regional Committee resolved in August to cease existence and a special implementation task force was set up to investigate alternative management options with appropriate agencies for services in the Central Highlands region.  Recommendations of the task force were accepted by the Board in December 1995 when local and community management of most services was achieved.  … "The only services that did not continue were the Pixie Property Maintenance Service, the Employment Action Centre, the Training Unit and the Administration Unit".  Not all services were transferred.  The Provincial Communities Enterprise Project and the Prevention of Youth Homelessness Project remained with the Brotherhood and management of the Donated Goods Division transferred to Campbellfield. (BSL Annual Report 1996, p. 10)


Visitors to this page:

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.