Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Further Help For Darwin Families at Risk of Homelessness

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the Household Organisational Management Expenses (HOME) Advice Program in Darwin.

Senator Patterson said the allocation of $645,000 in funding to Centacare will provide information, support and early intervention services for families at risk of homelessness in Darwin.

“The grant for Darwin is part of the Australian Government’s HOME Advice Program national funding of $10.4 million over the next four years, which will help families at risk of homelessness,” she said.

“The national interim evaluation of the program recently found that 78 per cent of families in the program had improved outcomes in their finances, health, family relationships, employment, education and/or community participation.”

Formerly known as the Darwin Family Homelessness Prevention Pilot, the program has been extended for the next four years and renamed as the HOME Advice Program.

“HOME will allow Centacare to continue to help families stabilise their housing and financial circumstances,” Senator Patterson said.

“Families at risk of homelessness often have high levels of personal debt, rely on emergency relief assistance and move between temporary forms of accommodation.

“It will also assist families with access to community services, education support, services for children, labour market programs, health services and parenting skills programs.

“We know Centacare has done some wonderful work with local families here in Darwin. The results for the pilot program overall have been very strong and Centacare has been a part of that success.

“The Australian Government is committed to helping families gain the stability provided by a secure home environment.”