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

Victorian charity wins Homelessness Award

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

Sacred Heart Mission, of St Kilda, Victoria, 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 Sacred Heart Mission with the Award for Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness (by an organisation) for its Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) project.

“The J2SI project stood out in its efforts to help chronically homeless people break the cycle of homelessness once and for all,” Mr Butler said.

“I applaud Sacred Heart Mission for its innovative J2SI project, which has helped people find pathways out of homelessness through intensive support.

“It provided participants with rapid access to housing, responded to their specific mental health needs and focused on building their skills to reconnect with the community.

Mr Butler said the evaluation showed that 86 per cent of the program participants were in independent housing, compared with just over half of the control group who were using existing services.

“Participants also reported improvements in physical and emotional health, were less likely to be hospitalised, and many were in training or employment.”

Ms Parke said that while the last Census showed a 13 per cent drop in the rate of people sleeping rough, far too many Australians still do not have a place to call home every night.

“This Government has made tackling homelessness a national priority, and is committed to halving the overall rate of homelessness by 2020,” Ms Parke said.

“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 Sacred Heart Mission for receiving this well-deserved award for their Journey to Social Inclusion project.”

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