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Homelessness research helps guide Government response



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Mark Butler

SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER

Media Release by The Hon Mark Butler MP and The Hon Melissa Parke MP

Homelessness research helps guide Government response 31 May 2013

Joint Media Release with:

 The Hon Mark Butler MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Minister for Housing and Homelessness Minister for Social Inclusion Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

 The Hon Melissa Parke MP Parliamentary Secretary for Homelessness and Social Housing Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health

The Australian Government is investing $3.3 million to continue its successful long-term

homelessness research approach, and extend the Journeys Home study.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Mark Butler and Parliamentary Secretary for

Homelessness and Social Housing Melissa Parke announced the Journeys Home study would

continue for another year and an evaluation of research under the National Homelessness

Research Agenda would begin in mid-2013.

“It is critical people have access to the right services, when they need them, so vulnerable

Australians are less likely to fall through the cracks,” Mr Butler said.

“To tackle homelessness we must establish an accurate picture of why people become

homeless and what the effects of homelessness are on people and society.

Mr Butler said the 2008 Government White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home,

identified a lack of research and data on homelessness.

“Based on that white paper, we immediately invested $11.4 million over four years towards a

National Homelessness Research Agenda,” Mr Butler said.

“Since then, this research has provided us with a better understanding of all aspects of

homelessness, and will continue to do so.

“We are now establishing a big picture of the demographics of homelessness and trends in

housing instability thanks to the information gathered in these reports.”

Ms Parke said Journeys Home is the first large-scale study of its type in Australia and follows

the lives of more than 1600 Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Extending Journey’s Home for another year will further develop our understanding of what

differentiates people who have been able to move out of homelessness from those who have

not,” Ms Parke said.

“The National Homelessness Research Agenda covers the full range of issues associated with

homelessness.

“It lays the foundation for developing an effective and holistic approach to helping people

break the cycle of homelessness.

“The outcomes of this research have been valuable to date in enabling us to determine the

effectiveness of different intervention approaches, so we can direct our funding to the most

effective programs.

“The research evaluation will assess the quality of the research undertaken, identify gaps and

emerging areas of research, and consider how any future research might be conducted.”

The initial phase of the research evaluation will include broad consultation with key

stakeholders, including homelessness research organisations, universities and sector peak

bodies. Stakeholders will be consulted on the structure of the research evaluation so that there

is a broad consensus on its scope.

A tender for the evaluation will then be sought in the middle of this year, to be completed

before the end of the year.

Due to its long-term nature, Journeys Home will be evaluated separately. De-identified

Journeys Home data will be made available later this year to approved academics for their

own research. Information will be available at a later date on the website of the Melbourne

Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.