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Research Report: No home, no justice?  The legal needs of homeless people
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No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people  ( 2005 )  Cite this report

Ch 7. Assistance by non-legal agencies



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Non-legal services accessed by homeless people


The types of services and support networks used by homeless people may differ considerably, depending upon their location, needs, demographic characteristics and how long they have been homeless. For example, Chamberlain and Mackenzie and others report that people at risk of homelessness tend to be in contact with and/or supported by a range of people and agencies: family members, friends, schools, doctors, community health workers, GPs, youth workers, tenancy workers, welfare workers, domestic violence workers, refuge staff, police and housing workers and Centrelink staff. Once people become entrenched in homelessness, their support networks may change. People may lose contact with family, leave school or move away from the local community networks that previously supported them. They may have more contact with police and SAAP services, and maintain contact with Centrelink.4 These services are considered in this chapter as possible points of intervention for legal support or referral to legal support.

In their work on pathways to homelessness, Chamberlain and Mackenzie concluded that early intervention, that is, providing assistance to people before or as they first become homeless, is easier and is more likely to result in better outcomes. As they observe: “once people lose their home, their problems always get worse”.5 The value of early intervention was also stressed as a key message arising out of the 2003 Beyond the Divide national conference on homelessness.6

Since the mid-90s there has been increasing emphasis by governments on ‘early intervention’ to reduce homelessness. Two major early intervention programs have attracted Commonwealth and State funding:7 the FHPP and the Reconnect program.8 In an interim evaluation report, the FHPP identified so-called ‘first to know’ agencies:


    First to know’ agencies include real estate agencies and housing authorities who may be first to know when a current tenancy is at risk. Other ‘first to know’ agencies include general welfare agencies, schools, and family support agencies.9

Thus, there appears to be an increasing focus on early intervention and the range of people and agencies that may be in a position to provide a point of intervention or referral to people as they become homeless.

In this chapter, consideration is not only given to possible sites for early legal intervention, but also to those services that reach people already entrenched in different forms of homelessness. Table 7.1 provides a summary of the types of non-legal support services identified in this study as being accessed by people who are homeless across different circumstances. Services accessed have been divided into those that people at risk of or entering homelessness tend to be in contact with and those that people entrenched in homelessness are more likely to access.

Table 7.1: Support and services accessed by homeless people

Potential links to people at risk of or entering homelessnessPotential links to people entrenched in homelessness
Young peopleFamily and friendsOutreach services
SchoolsSAAP and other homeless
Local youth servicesperson’s services
Kids Help LinePolice
Adults – homelessFamily and friendsCentrelink
through housing crisisTenancy workersCourt/court support
CentrelinkHealth services, including:
Early childhood services/schools -mental health services
Neighbourhood centres -alcohol and drug services
Telephone services (e.g. Lifeline) -GPs.
Adults – homelessAs above; also:
through familyDomestic violence support workers
breakdownSAAP services (e.g. refuges)
Community health services/GPs
Counselling services
(e.g. Relationships Australia)
Court
Source: Drawn from consultations and relevant literature.

Note that Table 7.1 is only indicative. It provides a framework for discussing the various support services accessed by people experiencing different levels of homelessness, rather than an exhaustive list of support people and agencies. Furthermore, there will be considerable variation in the services accessed by different people at different stages of homelessness. For instance, some people will access SAAP services as they become homeless (e.g. a woman’s refuge). Others who are entrenched in homelessness might be supported by or living with family and friends.

These possible points of intervention for legal assistance are discussed below. Some services, particularly those that are not specific to homeless people, may only be potential sites for referring homeless people to legal advice (e.g. with a referral telephone number). Others, such as SAAP services, may provide more comprehensive support. However, all are relevant in some way to helping homeless people address their legal needs.

Family and friends


    I’m ‘the baa baa black sheep’ of the family, so my family wouldn’t help me.10

Although some homeless people are estranged from family members, for many others, family and friends are a key source of support.

    A mate of mine got me onto a bloke who worked for Aboriginal Legal Aid … if I wouldn’t have been told by another source, I wouldn’t have known, and I would have been up the creek in a barbed wire canoe forkin’ money out of me pockets I really couldn’t afford.11

Not only are a sizable proportion of the homeless in NSW staying temporarily with family and friends (see Chapter 3), but family and friends are also reported to be a primary source of support for victims of domestic violence and young people, particularly in the early ‘in and out’ stage of homelessness.12 This is consistent with a study by Dimopoulas et al. on service provision to people experiencing family violence, which reported: “trusted friends and close family members were often a first point of contact for women [in family violence situations] seeking support”.13

However, while family and friends may be a key source of support, it cannot be assumed that they are any better informed about legal processes or services than the homeless people they are supporting. They may be best reached by increasing general community awareness of legal assistance services and sites for legal information.

Schools

In 2001, it was estimated that 42% of homeless youth (aged 12–18 years) in NSW were still at school or TAFE.14 Furthermore, a nationwide study of homelessness among school students also found that 37% of homeless students had been homeless for six months or more.15 The following story illustrates the situation of young homeless school students.


    This boy left home in February 2000, because of domestic violence by his stepfather. His stepfather is extremely physically abusive towards him and his mother was not willing to intervene. He is currently living with friends. At school, he is completing year 12, although he has had many days off school and has wanted to leave on many occasions. Constant counselling and support are provided at school.16

Thus, schools and school counsellors in particular are sites for early intervention to young people (and potentially their families) as they become homeless.17 Chamberlain and MacKenzie state:

    We know that most young people have their first experience of homelessness when they are at school. If schools are unaware of these students or do not provide assistance then they drop through the early intervention net. Most join the ranks of the homeless unemployed and some make the transition to chronicity.18

Successful intervention is harder to achieve once young people become chronically homeless, and the pathways to providing legal support change. Young people in this situation are more likely to be in contact with police, government agencies and youth and other SAAP services.

Health and community services

General practitioners, alcohol and drug services, mental health services, early childhood centres, neighbourhood centres and generic welfare services may all be accessed by people facing or experiencing homelessness.19 For example, one interviewee who was not in contact with a SAAP service said:


    I’ve just linked back up here now with Redfern Community Health. I’ve got a really good—I think she’s a mental health nurse or something. I see her every couple of weeks.20

A community project coordinator, spoke of his role as a link to other services:

    I get a couple of people coming into the office (and that is not my function) … people will come in and say, ‘Can I make a call?’ or ‘Would you make a call for me?’.21

Of note is an increasing focus among health services, particularly in inner-city Sydney on conducting outreach to homeless people in the area, and on linking these initiatives with related services (e.g. Centrelink).22 While it is not appropriate or feasible to expect health and other workers to take on the task of ‘legal assistance’ or case management beyond their usual role, there may be benefits to homeless clients if there is scope for referral to local legal services or access to legal outreach from these sites.

Telephone counselling services

Another potential point of contact for homeless people are telephone-based counselling services, such as Lifeline, Relationships Australia, Parent’s line and Kids Help Line. While homeless people face restricted access to internet and telephone services, data from Kids Help Line indicate that some young people facing homelessness do use internet and telephone support services.23


    Just wanting to know her legal rights … she is determined to leave home because her mum regularly beats her. [Female caller to Kids Help Line, aged 16.]24

In 2003, Kids Help Line answered nearly 193 500 calls from people 18 years and under in NSW, 45% of whom were from rural areas. Calls most commonly concerned family relationships (16% of all calls), but 4% of calls concerned leaving home or homelessness.25 The latter group called about issues such as the legal age at which they could leave home, and how to access social security and employment.26

Information websites

As reported in Chapter 3, more than one-third of the homeless people in NSW are aged between 12 and 24 years. While a proportion of homeless young people will not have access to or the capacity to use the internet,27 websites accessed by homeless young people still may be considered as potential avenues to legal information.28 Some of the limitations of web-based information services for homeless people have already been discussed in Chapter 6.

Tenancy and housing workers

People who become homeless after losing public housing or private rental accommodation29 may be in contact with housing workers and tenancy advice and advocacy services (TAAS). In their study of pathways to homelessness, Chamberlain and Mackenzie observed:


    Many people who lose their employment do not go to an agency for the homeless, but they may contact a housing worker if they are in public housing or generic support workers in community agencies.30

TAAS are independent services providing advice and advocacy in dealing with housing issues. They also issue fact sheets and other publications to tenants and assist with the preparation of submissions to the CTTT.31 Most are responsible for geographical areas, while others are specialist statewide services such as PAVS, which supports people in residential parks.32

Residential park owners

Residential (caravan) park owners are another link to support for residents of their parks. A review of family support programs being run in caravan parks reported:


    Park operators played a big role in the running of the park community and how people were treated. Where a park operator was supportive this facilitated families’ knowledge of and access to services, where negative, services may be actively discouraged from coming onto the park.33

Thus, on the basis of this observation, park owners may have a role in allowing and indeed facilitating the access of support services to residents of their parks. This is particularly important if residential parks are located away from support services and residents lack access to transport.

Consumer and advocacy bodies

The consultations undertaken for this study indicate that consumer and advocacy groups are another important source of support to homeless people. Relevant groups include BLAG, Homelessness NSW/ACT, Youth Accommodation Association and Shelter NSW. Advocacy services such as PAVS also set up consumer networks among their clients (e.g. within residential parks).

Other groups with members who experience homelessness include the Community Restorative Centre (CRC), Justice Support (supporting prisoners, their families and friends), Sex Worker Outreach Project, NSW Users and Aids Association and The Gender Centre (supporting transgender people). CRC workers, for example, assist people leaving prison to “find housing, address debt, return to work, deal with health issues, and develop the skills they need to live independently”.34 One homeless participant commented:


    Organisations like Sex Workers Outreach Project or the Prostitutes Collective, if they were better resourced with information about legal services, then maybe we would go to legal services more often. If the information was more readily available in those organisations, you may find the working girls using those services.35

Court support schemes

Court support workers are available in some NSW courts to assist people affected by the court system, including offenders, families of participants and witnesses. Broadly speaking, there are two types of court support schemes: specialist and generalist.

The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme (WDVCAS), administered by Legal Aid NSW, is a specialist court support scheme. There are 33 WDVCASs operating at 55 local courts throughout NSW. WDVCASs provide women and their children with support, advocacy, referral and information and facilitate their access to appropriate legal representation. They assist women to obtain legal protection from domestic violence and obtain assistance for their other needs such as finding housing and obtaining social security.36

Generalist court support workers are generally voluntary, not necessarily legally trained and may work for non-legal agencies, including welfare organisations (e.g. Salvation Army) and specialist support groups37 (e.g. CRC).38 To provide an example, CRC provides a network of ‘court support’ volunteers in local courts throughout metropolitan Sydney and the Family Court at Parramatta. The court support workers are trained to provide information, referral to Legal Aid NSW, and personal support, on a confidential basis.

Centrelink

Centrelink is the Commonwealth agency that administers social security payments in Australia. As such, Centrelink is a key point of contact with homeless people, especially those who have little or no contact with SAAP or other services.39

There is some evidence that Centrelink may be the only point of contact that some homeless people have with formal support agencies or government bureaucracy.40 For example, a project examining the needs of families in caravan parks found that “families had little knowledge of and were not accessing services, apart from meeting immediate needs, for example Centrelink”.41 Mackenzie and Chamberlain identify Centrelink as an important site of early intervention for people at risk of homelessness through housing crisis (see Chapter 3), because they are usually in receipt of a government pension, even when they are isolated from other services.42 Finally, Dimopoulas et al. noted Centrelink as “a significant source of referrals to services which provide assistance to those experiencing family violence”.43 In this context it is notable that Centrelink describes itself as “an entry point or ‘gateway’ for customers to a wide range of other services in the community”.44 This may be particularly true of rural areas, where other support services are in short supply.


    Centrelink is different here. We don’t have an organisation in town which can give out urgent payments, or food vouchers. People would often come into Centrelink for this sort of assistance because they know that Centrelink in Walgett would help them in this.45

Many of the homeless people we consulted reported mixed success in dealing with Centrelink customer service officers (see Chapter 8). However, Centrelink also employ a range of specialist support officers (e.g. social workers, Indigenous specialist officers, and specialist Youth Servicing Units).46 One respondent who was supported by a Centrelink social worker found this assistance useful.47 Others indicated that they had been assisted by Centrelink officers who did outreach to the SAAP services they used.48

Among other duties, Centrelink social workers “provide counselling, support and referral services to Centrelink customers who are experiencing major changes in their lives or a crisis such as family breakdown or domestic and family violence”.49 As such, these workers would appear well placed to assist homeless clients in addressing their issues with Centrelink in particular, as well as to appropriately refer homeless clients to legal support services. However, the ease or otherwise of accessing these specialist workers is not explored in this study.

While a number of participants reported problems dealing with social security issues, Centrelink could be further explored as a point of referral to legal services for people facing homelessness, who are otherwise out of touch with support services.

Recognising that only a proportion of Centrelink clients will access specialist workers, the Centrelink office could also be considered as a potential site for legal information, making available at least the telephone number for LawAccess and/or local legal advice services. Another option, which to our knowledge has not been explored, might be to provide a ‘telephone booth’ with direct access to LawAccess and/or other relevant advice services in Centrelink waiting areas. It should be noted that the capacity of Centrelink to assist clients in a proactive way may be more limited when clients are supported by Centrelink agents rather than offices (e.g. in remote locations).

Law enforcement officers

Police are usually the first point of contact homeless people have with ‘the law’ if they are charged with an offence, if they are the victim of a crime, or if they are asked to move on in public space.50 Police are also often called to deal with people who are violent or exhibiting other difficult behaviour arising from mental health or alcohol and other drug issues.51 Transit police and local council enforcement officers may also interact with homeless people in similar ways during the course of their duties. Finally, police may be a key source of support in domestic violence situations, significant as family breakdown is a common pathway to homelessness.52 Thus, police officers in particular have multiple roles in dealing with homeless people: charging and arresting people and providing protection as well as information, advice and referral.

The data collected for the current study indicate that people entrenched in homelessness frequently interact with police, and use police as a source of information about the legal process. One participant who had worked as a prostitute noted:


    Our space is with the police. When you’re standing on a street corner, your most common contact with any legal service is with the police. They are not arresting you every night. One copper … would assist me wherever he could, and I would assist him where I could, trading information, doing my bit to keep the streets a bit clean from heroin addicts. I would hand him information, he would hand me information when I was in need. He sent me to the Royal Women’s Hospital when I was raped. He provided me with the legal services when I was raped.53

Another participant also reported seeking advice from the police:

    [Interviewer]: And did you see a lawyer when you had the AVO taken out?
    No, I went to the police station and just made a statement and that, and they rang me up and just let me know what was going on … They were good. They gave me information about the AVO and what to expect.54

Another said:

    [Interviewer]: If you had another legal issue who do you think you would go and see?
    I don’t know, I would go down to the cop station. Just ask them, ‘I’m going through this sort of thing, what can I do about it?55

However, the consultations also revealed a complex relationship between police and homeless people, where police are viewed and experienced as both adversaries and as protectors.

    It is funny for me to say, because I hate them. But at the moment I have got no trouble with the police. You know, I work in [Sydney] and I have had a few hassles with different people … and the police said to me, ‘Look, I will give you my phone number and ring me up any time and we will come and sort it out for you.’ … they see me there every day and see me having a go and everything else and so, you know …56
    I don’t like them very much. But you know, if I get into trouble, then if my only option is to ask them what should I do about it, then I am going to have to do it, you know what I mean. Regardless of whether I like them or not.57

Some homeless participants in this study reported negative interactions with police, which, in contrast to those quoted above, acted as a barrier to them pursuing legal issues through this avenue (see Chapter 5).

The police perspective

According to those consulted for this study, police identify different groups of people within the homeless population: the regular ‘street livers’ who they may be quite familiar with, transient people who they may not have seen before (or at least for a while) and drug user/dealers (who may be regular or transient). Police were also very conscious of the vulnerability of people sleeping in public spaces to becoming the victims of crime.58

The official policy approach of NSW Police to homeless people is outlined within the Protocol for Homeless People, a State government interagency agreement.59 The protocol states that homeless people should be ‘left alone’ unless they request assistance, they appear to be distressed or in need of assistance, their behaviour threatens their safety or the safety and security of people around them, or their behaviour is likely to result in damage to property or the environment.60

A number of other services in the inner city noted the collaboration between police, other service providers and street outreach workers.61 For instance, police in one area distribute cards with the contact details for outreach services to homeless people. They have also used their radios to find out if beds are available at SAAP services.62 The officer responsible for liaising with homeless services in this area commented: “when police take the time to work out the person’s circumstances, they can do more for the person”.63

In summary, police interact with homeless people in a range of circumstances: they issue fines; they move people on in public spaces; they assist people who are victims of crime, including domestic violence; they arrest and charge people for criminal offences; and they take or refer people to other services. While, in some instances, these interactions can be negative for the homeless person, police remain a potential pathway to legal information and assistance.

Homeless person’s services

The support networks and agencies described above support but do not specifically target homeless people. In contrast, the following services are aimed at the homeless population, providing accommodation, referral and other support services.

Drop in and street outreach

Drop in centres and outreach services generally help homeless people to access accommodation, food services, health care (including mental health care) or assistance with finding longer term housing. In inner-city Sydney there are two major outreach services to homeless people: the City Street Outreach Service, which is provided by the Independent Community Living Association under contract to the City of Sydney, and the NSW government Homelessness Action Team Support and Outreach Services.

Street outreach workers generally support clients who are entrenched in homelessness and have very complex needs, particularly mental health and/or addiction issues. They have a particular role in linking this group of homeless people with services to address these complex needs. In this role, workers report being asked for advice on a range of legal issues. The challenges faced by outreach workers in meeting these advice needs are discussed in greater detail later in this chapter.

Homeless Persons Information Centre (HPIC)

HPIC, run by City of Sydney Council, is a telephone information and referral service for people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness in NSW. It provides professional assessments and referrals for clients seeking accommodation and support services throughout the State.64 In 2002–03, HPIC received nearly 44 000 calls. Of these, approximately 27 000 calls were for accommodation required that night.65

SAAP services

As discussed in Chapter 1, nearly 400 SAAP agencies in NSW provide accommodation and other services to homeless people. Nearly half of these agencies target youth (177 agencies) and a further 89 target women escaping domestic violence. Only 25 agencies are specifically for homeless families.

A number of homeless participants in this study described how they used SAAP services as a link to legal and/or advocacy support.


    Exodus … have access to everything, all these different organisations from the law onwards, all these contacts … They give out free lunches, you go into the hall, have lunch, have a chat. If you have a problem you go to the office, you tell them what your problem is at the reception, like, ‘I’ve got a legal issue’ and they say, ‘Sit down, we’ll go and get our legal person on for you.’ From there, they refer you either to Legal Aid or somebody else who will tell you what your options are, and you take it from there. Because without the options, where do we go? We’re lost.66

The level of assistance SAAP services provide clients with legal problems is evident in their service statistics, displayed in Table 7.2, below.

Table 7.2: SAAP support periods: advocacy and selected other services provided to selected clients, NSW, 2002–0367

Male alone
Female alone
Females with
Total support
25+
25+
children
periods
N=19 950
N=4900
N=6350
N=44 300
Type of service
%*
%*
%*
%*
Assistance with legal issues/court support
1.8
14.1
23.7
8.2
Advocacy/liaison on behalf of client
15.4
35.5
50.3
29
Assistance to obtain/maintain independent housing
7
16
32.9
15.3
Assistance to obtain/maintain government payment
3.5
9.5
17.3
8.7
Advice/information
46.7
58.3
70.3
55.9
Assistance with immigration issues
0.1
1.6
1.9
0.6

* Clients can receive multiple services, so percentages do not add up to 100%. Only 3 of 8 subgroups are detailed in this table. See full cited in footnote for information on other groups.

Source: AIHW, SAAP 2002–03 NSW Tables. Table 6.3 p. 24.

Table 7.2 shows that 8% of all SAAP ‘support periods’68 completed in the 2002–03 year involved ‘assistance with legal issues or court support’. Another 30% of support periods involved ‘advocacy or liaison on behalf of the client’. A further 15% of support periods involved ‘assistance to obtain or maintain housing’, and 9% involved ‘assistance to obtain or remain on government benefits’.

As may also be seen on Table 7.2, different groups of clients relied more heavily on SAAP services as a link to legal assistance than others. For example, approximately 24% of support periods to ‘females with children’, but only 2% of support periods to men over the age of 25, involved assistance with a legal issue/court support. This particular discrepancy may in part reflect the proportion of SAAP services that are women’s refuges.

Table 7.3 shows the number of requests made to NSW SAAP services for legal or advocacy related services during 2002–03, and how these requests were responded to.

Table 7.3: Legal- or advocacy-related SAAP services requested by clients in closed support periods, by provision, NSW, 2002–03

Type of service
Not provided
Referred
Provided by SAAP only
Provided and referred
Total
Number
%
%
%
%
%
Assist with legal issues/court
9.1
10.8
56
24.1
100
3500
support
Advocacy/liaison on behalf of
2.1
0.9
86.7
10.3
100
10 700
client
Assist to obtain/maintain
16.1
14.7
49.3
19.9
100
7450
independent housing
Assist to obtain/maintain
9
12.3
56.1
22.7
100
3650
government payment
Advice/information
1.1
0.1
92.8
5.9
100
21 750
Assist with immigration issues
5.8
10.9
51.4
30.9
100
250

Source: Drawn from AIHW, SAAP 2002–03 NSW Tables. Table 7.1, p. 26.

As may be seen in Table 7.3, in 2002–03, NSW SAAP services received 3500 requests for legal assistance or court support from clients and 10 700

requests for advocacy or liaison on behalf of clients. This is in addition to more than 11 000 requests for assistance to obtain or maintain housing and/or government payments. Fifty-six per cent of requests for legal assistance resulted in court support or assistance with legal issues being provided solely by the agency, and 35% of such requests involving a referral to another agency. Assistance with legal issues or court support was not provided in 9% of all ‘closed support periods’ in which it was requested. Generally, ‘advocacy support or liaison’ and requests for ‘advice or information’ were handled by the SAAP agencies themselves.

Thus, SAAP services play a key role in providing assistance with legal issues (e.g. information, liaison/advocacy) and in linking their homeless clients with legal assistance services. The specific ways that SAAP and other workers assist their clients with legal problems are outlined in the next section.

It should be noted that, while SAAP services are a key source of support to homeless people in NSW, some homeless people do not access services until well entrenched in homelessness, if at all.

There are also homeless people who cannot access SAAP services. In some cases there are no appropriate SAAP services in their area—there may be a local service for men but not for women or young people. In other cases, as reported by the NSW Ombudsman in a report on SAAP services, some groups of homeless people may be routinely excluded from relevant SAAP services (e.g. if they are using alcohol or drugs, or have a condition the service cannot manage).69 Finally, some people may not access SAAP services that have a philosophy or practice inconsistent with their beliefs or needs (e.g. a dependent drug user may not approach a service where abstinence is required).



MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers and other studies as cited in this chapter.
MacKenzie, & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 38. See Chapter 3 for more details.
Beyond the Divide, Summary Report, p. 26.
Beyond the Divide, Summary Report, p. 20.
See RPR Consulting, Im Looking at the Future: Evaluation Report of Reconnect Final Report, FaCS, Canberra, 2003, <http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIA/reconnect/$File/ImLookingToTheFuture_FinalReport_30Oct2003.pdf> (accessed November 2004), RPR Consulting, FHPP Interim Evaluation Report.
RPR Consulting, FHPP Interim Evaluation Report, p.29.
Interview no. 8.
Interview no. 14.
MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p.15.
M Dimopoulas, R Baker, M Sheridan, J Elix, J Lambert, Mapping Pathways of Service Provision: Enhancement of Family Violence Protocols and Interagency Linkages, Partnerships Against Domestic Violence, Office of the Status of Women, Canberra, 1999, p. 16.
C Chamberlain & D MacKenzie, Youth Homelessness 2001, Table 4.4, p.25, see also C Chamberlain & D MacKenzie, How Many Homeless Youth in 2001?, Youth Studies Australia, 2003, vol. 22, no. 1, pp.1824.
Based on 1094 homeless school students identified in case studies provided by schools. MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 20.
Reported in MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 21.
MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 24, Chamberlain & Mackenzie Youth homelessness, 2001, p. v. See also Crane & Brannock, p. 79, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Community Affairs, A Report on Aspects of Youth Homelessness, AGPS, Canberra, 1995.
Chamberlain & Mackenzie, Youth Homelessness, 2001, p. 26, see also MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 25.
Dimopoulas et al., p. 16. Interview no. 3.
Interview no. 5.
Consultation with Bob Morgan, River Towns Project, Walgett, February 2004.
South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, Homelessness Health Strategic Plan 20042009, 2003, <http://www.sesahs.nsw.gov.au/Homelessness/HomelessHealthStrategicPlan.pdf> (accessed November 2004), A Malcolm, Providing Primary Health Care to the Homeless, Parity, vol. 17, no. 8, 2004, p. 9.
Kids Help Line, Kids Help Line Infosheet 2004, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/11865.pdf> (accessed October 2004) (based on 199697 data)
Kids Help Line, Infosheet, No. 12: Homelessness, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/1846.pdf> (accessed October 2004).
Kids Help Line, Infosheet: NSW 2003, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/research/STATES/NSW03.pdf> (accessed 2004).
Kids Help Line, Infosheet, No. 12: Homelessness (based on 199799 Australia wide data) (accessed October 2004).
For information on internet usage by low-income Australians, see Zappala, Barriers to Participation, pp. 6482.
E.g. <http://www.reachout.com.au> is a web-based service that aims to improve young peoples mental health and well being by providing support information and referrals in a format that appeals to young people. It has the Lifeline and Kids Help Line telephone numbers on its homepage.
In 8% of all NSW closed support periods in 200203, the client had been accommodated in public or community housing and 14.7% in private rental immediately prior to coming into SAAP (possibly with rental assistance). AIHW, SAAP 200203 NSW Tables, Table 8.2, p. 31. See Appendix 1 for definitions.
MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 31.
Tenants Union, About the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program Services and the Tenants Union, <http://www.tenants.org.au/about/> (accessed November 2004).
Parks and Village Service <http://www.tenants.org.au/taap/PAVS20001220.html> (accessed November 2004).
Eddy, Final Report: Caravan Parks Pilot, p. 32.
E.g. CRC: see <http://www.crcjs.org.au/information.htm> (accessed November 2004).
Interview no. 25.
Legal Aid NSW, WDVCA Program, <http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=58> (accessed November 2004).
Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Access to Justice Research Program, Stage 1 Public Consultations, p. 175.
The Community Restorative Centre is a support group for prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families and friends: see <http://www.crcjs.org.au> (accessed September 2004).
See Chapter 3 for the proportion of people on income support. See also Chamberlain & MacKenzie, Counting the Homeless 2001, pp. 401.
Baldry et al. noted of a sample of people released from prison in NSW between mid-2001 and early 2003, Because there was such reticence to use services other than Centrelink, very few even thought of seeking help or support to claim housing rights. E Baldry, D McDonnell, P Maplestone, M Peeters, Ex-prisoners, Housing and Social Integration, Parity, vol. 16, no. 5, June 2003, pp. 1315.
Eddy, Final Report: Caravan Parks Pilot, p. 32.
MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 37.
Dimopoulas et al., p. 38.
Centrelink, Annual Report 200203, <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/ar0203/6_5.htm> (accessed November 2004).
Consultation with Manager, Centrelink Walgett, February 2004. He also reported that there are very few problems with compliance in his area. He suggested that because it is a small community and they know their clients well, they work with the clients to avoid breaches and being cut off.
See <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/services/homeless.htm> (accessed November 2004).
Interview no. 30 spoke of the support in dealing with Centrelink, provided by a Centrelink social worker after her mental health issues became apparent.
Interviews nos. 9 & 28. For examples of outreach programs, see Centrelink, Annual Report 200203.
Centrelink, Social Workers Factsheet, <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/ch003.htm> (accessed November 2004).
Chung et al., p. 55, discussed by Interview nos. 6, 10, 25, 28 & 29.
Consultations with Cathy Mackson and Tracey Hales, OPP, NSW Police, April 2004, Senior Sergeant Franc Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004. See also Essential Media Communications, Mental Health Workers Alliance Worker Survey, November 2004, Sydney, <http://www.labor.net.au/campaigns/mhwa/background/survey.html>. (accessed November 2004).
See also Chung et al., 2000, Edwards, Violence Excluded.
Interview no. 25.
Interview no. 29.
Interview no. 28, also Interview no 6.
Interview no. 10.
Interview no. 28.
Consultation with Cathy Mackson and Tracey Hales, OPP, NSW Police, April 2004.
The protocol was developed by the NSW government Partnership Against Homelessness, which is led by DOH and includes NSW Police, the NSW Department of Community Services, State Rail Authority and State Transit Authority, among others.
See DOH, Protocol for Homeless People: Fact Sheet, October 2003, <http://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/news_publications/PAH/protocol-for-homeless-people-Fact-Sheet.pdf>. (accessed February 2004).
Consultations with Robbie MacInnes, Senior Community Programs Officer, DoCS Metro Central Region, October 2003, Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney, Kaylean Smith, HPIC, Keiran Booth, City Street Outreach Service, Independent Community Living Association, and Carol Basile, Coordinator, Homelessness Brokerage Program, YWCA, January 2004.
Consultations with Senior Sergeant Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004, Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney, Kaylean Smith, HPIC, Keiran Booth, City Street Outreach Service, Independent Community Living Association, and Carol Basile, Coordinator, Homelessness Brokerage Program, YWCA, January 2004.
Consultation with Senior Sergeant Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004.
See <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Community/ServicesAndPrograms/HomelessnessServices/HomelessPersonsInformationCentre.asp>.
Data provided by Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney.
Interview no. 11.
See Appendix 1 for the definitions of support period and closed support period.
See Appendix 1 for the definition of support period.
NSW Ombudsman, Assisting Homeless People, p. 8. See Chapter 4 for more detail.

 MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers and other studies as cited in this chapter.
 MacKenzie, & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 38. See Chapter 3 for more details.
 Beyond the Divide, Summary Report, p. 26.
 Beyond the Divide, Summary Report, p. 20.
 See RPR Consulting, Im Looking at the Future: Evaluation Report of Reconnect Final Report, FaCS, Canberra, 2003, <http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIA/reconnect/$File/ImLookingToTheFuture_FinalReport_30Oct2003.pdf> (accessed November 2004), RPR Consulting, FHPP Interim Evaluation Report.
 RPR Consulting, FHPP Interim Evaluation Report, p.29.
10  Interview no. 8.
11  Interview no. 14.
12  MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p.15.
13  M Dimopoulas, R Baker, M Sheridan, J Elix, J Lambert, Mapping Pathways of Service Provision: Enhancement of Family Violence Protocols and Interagency Linkages, Partnerships Against Domestic Violence, Office of the Status of Women, Canberra, 1999, p. 16.
14  C Chamberlain & D MacKenzie, Youth Homelessness 2001, Table 4.4, p.25, see also C Chamberlain & D MacKenzie, How Many Homeless Youth in 2001?, Youth Studies Australia, 2003, vol. 22, no. 1, pp.1824.
15  Based on 1094 homeless school students identified in case studies provided by schools. MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 20.
16  Reported in MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 21.
17  MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 24, Chamberlain & Mackenzie Youth homelessness, 2001, p. v. See also Crane & Brannock, p. 79, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Community Affairs, A Report on Aspects of Youth Homelessness, AGPS, Canberra, 1995.
18  Chamberlain & Mackenzie, Youth Homelessness, 2001, p. 26, see also MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 25.
19  Dimopoulas et al., p. 16. Interview no. 3.
20  Interview no. 5.
21  Consultation with Bob Morgan, River Towns Project, Walgett, February 2004.
22  South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, Homelessness Health Strategic Plan 20042009, 2003, <http://www.sesahs.nsw.gov.au/Homelessness/HomelessHealthStrategicPlan.pdf> (accessed November 2004), A Malcolm, Providing Primary Health Care to the Homeless, Parity, vol. 17, no. 8, 2004, p. 9.
23  Kids Help Line, Kids Help Line Infosheet 2004, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/11865.pdf> (accessed October 2004) (based on 199697 data)
24  Kids Help Line, Infosheet, No. 12: Homelessness, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/1846.pdf> (accessed October 2004).
25  Kids Help Line, Infosheet: NSW 2003, 2004, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/research/STATES/NSW03.pdf> (accessed 2004).
26  Kids Help Line, Infosheet, No. 12: Homelessness (based on 199799 Australia wide data) (accessed October 2004).
27  For information on internet usage by low-income Australians, see Zappala, Barriers to Participation, pp. 6482.
28  E.g. <http://www.reachout.com.au> is a web-based service that aims to improve young peoples mental health and well being by providing support information and referrals in a format that appeals to young people. It has the Lifeline and Kids Help Line telephone numbers on its homepage.
29  In 8% of all NSW closed support periods in 200203, the client had been accommodated in public or community housing and 14.7% in private rental immediately prior to coming into SAAP (possibly with rental assistance). AIHW, SAAP 200203 NSW Tables, Table 8.2, p. 31. See Appendix 1 for definitions.
30  MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 31.
31  Tenants Union, About the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program Services and the Tenants Union, <http://www.tenants.org.au/about/> (accessed November 2004).
32  Parks and Village Service <http://www.tenants.org.au/taap/PAVS20001220.html> (accessed November 2004).
33  Eddy, Final Report: Caravan Parks Pilot, p. 32.
34  E.g. CRC: see <http://www.crcjs.org.au/information.htm> (accessed November 2004).
35  Interview no. 25.
36  Legal Aid NSW, WDVCA Program, <http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=58> (accessed November 2004).
37  Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Access to Justice Research Program, Stage 1 Public Consultations, p. 175.
38  The Community Restorative Centre is a support group for prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families and friends: see <http://www.crcjs.org.au> (accessed September 2004).
39  See Chapter 3 for the proportion of people on income support. See also Chamberlain & MacKenzie, Counting the Homeless 2001, pp. 401.
40  Baldry et al. noted of a sample of people released from prison in NSW between mid-2001 and early 2003, Because there was such reticence to use services other than Centrelink, very few even thought of seeking help or support to claim housing rights. E Baldry, D McDonnell, P Maplestone, M Peeters, Ex-prisoners, Housing and Social Integration, Parity, vol. 16, no. 5, June 2003, pp. 1315.
41  Eddy, Final Report: Caravan Parks Pilot, p. 32.
42  MacKenzie & Chamberlain, Homeless Careers, p. 37.
43  Dimopoulas et al., p. 38.
44  Centrelink, Annual Report 200203, <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/ar0203/6_5.htm> (accessed November 2004).
45  Consultation with Manager, Centrelink Walgett, February 2004. He also reported that there are very few problems with compliance in his area. He suggested that because it is a small community and they know their clients well, they work with the clients to avoid breaches and being cut off.
46  See <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/services/homeless.htm> (accessed November 2004).
47  Interview no. 30 spoke of the support in dealing with Centrelink, provided by a Centrelink social worker after her mental health issues became apparent.
48  Interviews nos. 9 & 28. For examples of outreach programs, see Centrelink, Annual Report 200203.
49  Centrelink, Social Workers Factsheet, <http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/ch003.htm> (accessed November 2004).
50  Chung et al., p. 55, discussed by Interview nos. 6, 10, 25, 28 & 29.
51  Consultations with Cathy Mackson and Tracey Hales, OPP, NSW Police, April 2004, Senior Sergeant Franc Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004. See also Essential Media Communications, Mental Health Workers Alliance Worker Survey, November 2004, Sydney, <http://www.labor.net.au/campaigns/mhwa/background/survey.html>. (accessed November 2004).
52  See also Chung et al., 2000, Edwards, Violence Excluded.
53  Interview no. 25.
54  Interview no. 29.
55  Interview no. 28, also Interview no 6.
56  Interview no. 10.
57  Interview no. 28.
58  Consultation with Cathy Mackson and Tracey Hales, OPP, NSW Police, April 2004.
59  The protocol was developed by the NSW government Partnership Against Homelessness, which is led by DOH and includes NSW Police, the NSW Department of Community Services, State Rail Authority and State Transit Authority, among others.
60  See DOH, Protocol for Homeless People: Fact Sheet, October 2003, <http://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/news_publications/PAH/protocol-for-homeless-people-Fact-Sheet.pdf>. (accessed February 2004).
61  Consultations with Robbie MacInnes, Senior Community Programs Officer, DoCS Metro Central Region, October 2003, Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney, Kaylean Smith, HPIC, Keiran Booth, City Street Outreach Service, Independent Community Living Association, and Carol Basile, Coordinator, Homelessness Brokerage Program, YWCA, January 2004.
62  Consultations with Senior Sergeant Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004, Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney, Kaylean Smith, HPIC, Keiran Booth, City Street Outreach Service, Independent Community Living Association, and Carol Basile, Coordinator, Homelessness Brokerage Program, YWCA, January 2004.
63  Consultation with Senior Sergeant Helsen, City Central LAC, NSW Police, May 2004.
64  See <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Community/ServicesAndPrograms/HomelessnessServices/HomelessPersonsInformationCentre.asp>.
65  Data provided by Felicity Reynolds, Senior Project Coordinator, Homelessness, City of Sydney.
66  Interview no. 11.
67  See Appendix 1 for the definitions of support period and closed support period.
68  See Appendix 1 for the definition of support period.
69  NSW Ombudsman, Assisting Homeless People, p. 8. See Chapter 4 for more detail.


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Forell, S, McCarron, E & Schetzer, L 2005, No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people in NSW, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney