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NT project wins Homelessness Award



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Mark Butler

MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER ON MENTAL HEALTH REFORM

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

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

NT project wins Homelessness Award 1 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

Larrakia Nation’s Watch House in Darwin, was today awarded a National Homelessness

Services Achievement Award in recognition of its tireless work to prevent and tackle

homelessness.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Mark Butler and Parliamentary Secretary for

Homelessness and Social Housing, Melissa Parke today presented Larrakia Nation

Aboriginal Corporation the award for Excellence in addressing Indigenous homelessness for

its Watch House-Pick Up and Case Management project.

“The Watch House project stood out for its efforts to help Aboriginal men struggling with

alcohol and substance misuse,” Mr Butler said.

“I applaud the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation for this innovative project, which

aims to divert vulnerable people away from alcohol.

“A bus picks up clients from the police watch house every morning at 6am, and takes them to

either a safe location of their choice, a shelter, or to Larrakia’s halfway house.

“Breakfast is provided, along with a shower, laundry and first aid, with all supplies

generously donated by the Baptist Church Foodbank.

“The Watch House provides referrals to a range of support services dealing with Centrelink,

medical and legal issues, as well as educational and social activities throughout the day.

Mr Butler said while some men just need a little help to get back on track, others need deeper

support and become residents in its halfway house.

“Clients can also get training to repair furniture and whitegoods, and become part of the ‘Fix-’em-up Crew’, doing repairs and maintenance for family and friends in public housing.

“With about 700 pick-ups per year and 49 people receiving ongoing support, this program is

helping to develop important skills and build self-esteem, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Ms Parke said that homelessness disproportionately affects Indigenous Australians.

“The 2011 Census indicated that Indigenous Australians represented around a quarter of

people who were homeless on census night,” Ms Parke said.

“Thanks to Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Aboriginal people in Darwin can get the

help they need to break the cycle of alcohol and substance misuse, and rebuild their lives.

“This Government has made tackling homelessness a national priority, and is committed to

halving the overall rate of homelessness by 2020.

“But we are not doing it alone-every day, thousands of services are on the ground helping

people get back on their feet.

“This year’s Awards shine a light on the tremendous work these compassionate and dedicated

service providers do for some of our community’s most vulnerable people.

“Thank you to everyone who nominated a service or organisation in the 2013 National

Homelessness Services Achievement Awards.

“Congratulations to the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation for receiving this well-deserved Award for their Watch House-Pick Up and Case Management project.”

For more information go to www.fahcsia.gov.au/homelessnessawards