Adelaide Zero Project meets monthly housing milestone

Despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19, Adelaide’s homelessness rate is going down with more people housed than coming into rough sleeping each month since June. In July, the Adelaide Zero Project housed 72 people – its highest ever housing rate in a month; previously, the housing rate sat at a median of 12 people before the pandemic.

The Adelaide Zero Project’s monthly housing rate has steadily increased since May – largely due to the collaborative COVID-19 emergency accommodation response for people sleeping rough, which has been led by SA Housing Authority, Neami National, Hutt St Centre, Baptist Care SA and other project partners, in conjunction with the project’s backbone organisation, the Don Dunstan Foundation.

Adelaide Zero Project Co-Chair Louise Miller Frost said the new data was a ‘big step’ towards the project’s target.

“We are seeing an average of 33 people per month entering rough sleeping, so if we can keep up the momentum of housing over 70 people per month we will make real strides towards our target,” Ms Miller Frost said.

“This includes people who are sleeping rough in the city, or who have since moved into temporary shelter – we can then know these people’s names and needs and eventually connect them to support and accommodation.

“The Adelaide Zero Project has shown during COVID-19 that it is possible to coordinate housing and support for people sleeping rough faster than ever before, especially when we all work together.

Louise Miller Frost, Co Chair, Adelaide Zero Project

“Using our collaborative approach, with not for profit services and housing providers working together with SA Housing Authority to secure long-term housing and support for those who had been sleeping rough.

“While we celebrate this milestone now, we are concerned there may be an increase in homelessness in the coming months, as the impacts of COVID-19 and the recession continue to be felt across the community.

“Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List and our collaborative approach put us in an ideal position to monitor any increases in rough sleeping in the city and respond both quickly and collectively,” said Ms Miller Frost.

“To successfully help so many people off the street and into a longer-term home is an outstanding achievement,” said the Hon. Michelle Lensink MLC, Minister for Human Services.

“This really shows what can be achieved when the sector works together to achieve a common goal and a lot of hard work has made this outcome possible.

“To continue to achieve these positives outcomes for South Australians, we need to make sure that all parts of the homelessness system are continuing to work together, and this is central to the reforms we are undertaking at the moment,“ said Minister Lensink.

Although 468 people have been housed across the project’s lifetime, there are currently 218 people actively homeless in Adelaide’s inner city, including 117 people sleeping rough.

SALA winner keen to continue artistic impact

Written by Lili Rose.

This year’s winner of the SALA Don Dunstan Foundation Award is inspiring textile artist, Makeda Duong, who says winning the award came as a shock.

‘I was a little bit surprised. I felt like the other two finalists were strong contenders as well,’ Duong said.

The winning piece, Duong’s Mixed Race Sweater, is a layered, intimate piece displaying and examining the questions made to her about her identity and her musings on the complexities of being a mixed race, Vietnamese-Australian woman.

‘It’s partly about how I’m perceived as a mixed race, half Asian person, but there’s also a lot of stuff going on behind it to do with my father’s past coming from Vietnam, a country that suffered a lot of invasion, war and trauma,’ said Duong.

The sweater, which is split evenly displaying the colours of the Australian flag on the front and the South Vietnamese flag on the back, is a manifestation of her own heritage and the curiosity it inspires in other people. 

As part of her exhibition Mixed Race Female, the sweater asks its audience to reflect upon themselves and the powerful social positions in which questions like ‘Where are you from’ and ‘Am I Australian’ come from.

Each of these questions, which make assumptions about identity based on name or appearance, have been asked to Makeda, an experience known to many other people of colour in Australia.

‘Firstly, there’s something about being a person of colour, it’s very visible, it’s a fact that’s right there, the colour of your skin, colour of your eyes, colour of your hair…it sets you apart,’ Duong said.

Additionally, the sweater’s colours comment on the duality in views on communism, comparing the difference between her father’s experience in Vietnam, which led to his migration to Australia, to the ideals of Western youth.

‘I was thinking that a lot of young Western people have this really positive view of communist ideals now, they see it as a positive alternative to capitalism. Whereas, people like my dad, who came from Vietnam, have had oppressive communist rule and see it as a negative thing. This intrigued me and I might be thinking about that in future works,’ said Duong.

Winning the DDF SALA Festival Award hasn’t been the only response Makeda has had for her work. The exhibition has been featured in a number of local publications, further demonstrating the profound impact it’s had on the public.

‘I think it’s made me realise these kinds of works on these topics has really resonated with a lot of people, probably more than I thought it would,’

‘A lot of things that aggravate me tend to make me want to make artwork as a reaction to it.’ Duong said.

The initial inspirations for the sweater began with Duong’s first piece from 2015, the Cursed Boyfriend Sweater, a manifestation of the unhealthy things couples say to each other knitted into a wearable sweater.

Duong plans to save the $1000 prize money to continue creating artwork on topics of mental health, migration, race, and gender.

‘I think it’s emboldened me to make work if I feel I have something to say about it, not feel like I can’t or that it’s a topic that I’m going to be attacked or perceived negatively for,’ said Duong.

With a specialisation in textiles, Duong says she won’t be moving away from the medium any time soon. Instead, she’s considered creating more sculptural works like those currently featured in her exhibition.

Although having a break after this exhibition, Duong will continue to contemplate conceptual avenues, further focusing on ideas of communism and the funding cuts within the arts sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mixed Race Female is showing at Nexus Arts Gallery until September 17th.

Congratulations Baroness Louise Casey!

Baroness Louise Casey

Written by Edward McLeish

Queen Elizabeth II has elevated 2017 Don Dunstan Orator Dame Louise Casey to the title of Baroness.

Baroness Louise Casey has been a driving force in ending homelessness and has developed a number of bespoke social policy programmes governments have used globally.

Aside from being an annual Don Dunstan Orator in 2017, Bss Casey challenged the city of Adelaide to solve its homelessness problem – a challenge giving birth to the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Zero Project.

Some of Bss Casey’s UK achievements include becoming director of Shelter (1992), head of the Rough Sleepers’ Unit (1999), a director of the Anti-Social Behavioural Unit (2003), head of the Respect Task Force (2005), was the UK’s first Victims Commissioner in 2010 and the director-general of Troubled Families in 2011. In February this year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Bss Casey as an adviser to help tackle homelessness.

Bss Casey has consistently delivered brave and innovative solutions to long standing social problems ranging from homelessness to anti-social behaviour to troubled families.

And throughout her illustrious career, Bss Casey has maintained her commitment to the charity sector and has been a driving force in the establishment of the Institute for Global Homelessness (which works with the Adelaide Zero Project), with the aim of delivering an international solution to homelessness across the world.

Previously, Bss Casey was awarded the Companion of the Order of Bath (CB) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2008 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2016.

The Don Dunstan Foundation congratulates Baroness Louise Carey for her promotion, her leadership and her stellar achievements in reducing homelessness.

Dr Guy Turnbull – Final Report 2020

SOCIAL CAPITAL RESIDENCIES

Towards a Co-operative State:

Securing the Social and Economic Prosperity of South Australia through corporate diversity

Working together to prevent homelessness: Developing the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers

Housing and health outcomes are intrinsically linked, and addressing these issues collectively is pivotal to preventing homelessness. Through a Public Health Partner Authority Agreement, the Don Dunstan Foundation and Wellbeing SA, along with SA Housing Authority and The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise within UniSA Business, have developed a conceptual framework through the Health, Housing and Homelessness paper series to improve our understanding of the multidirectional relationship between health and housing.

The dominant message the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers highlight is the proven link between good quality and appropriate housing and good physical, mental and emotional health.  Additionally, the Papers also aim to show why developing policy geared towards supporting people’s housing needs is beneficial to the wider community.

According to the 2016 Census, 43.1% of low income households were in rental stress, where housing costs exceeded 30% of their gross income (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018). Rental stress impacts people’s ability to afford necessities for wellbeing, such as medical costs, healthy food and utilities.

The Health, Housing and Homelessness paper series includes:

The Papers build on the well-established public health understanding of prevention. Prevention, in the context of homelessness, does not currently have the same depth of understanding.

The third Paper in the Health, Housing and Homelessness series includes a homelessness prevention continuum adapted from a public health approach. This continuum considers a broad housing system and demonstrates how multi-level strategies can be translated into practical steps towards preventing homelessness and strengthening housing security.

Each paper was co-authored by Dr Victoria Skinner (SA Housing Authority), Dr Selina Tually (UniSA), Dr Beth Keough and Associate Professor Carmel Williams (Wellbeing SA), and Clare Rowley and Renee Jones (Don Dunstan Foundation). The Papers were developed using a Collective Impact approach, driven by multi-sector collaboration to achieve a common goal. The principles of Collective Impact are:

  • Common Agenda – all participants share a vision for change, including a common understanding of the problem and an agreed solution.
  • Shared Measurement Systems – alignment of participants’ efforts directed by a shared data collection and measurement methodology.
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities – highly coordinated approach to participants undertaking specific activities that support other participants’ activities, as opposed to many working in isolation.
  • Continuous Communication – long-term, consistent and open communication between participants to build trust and understanding.
  • Backbone Support Organisations – an organisation separate to the participants who can facilitate ongoing management and support of the initiative, such as the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Zero Project team.

For further information, each of the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers are available to read online, in addition to an easy-to-read infographic highlighting the important relationship between health and housing.

SA’s creative thinkers stick together amid pandemic.

Written by Edward McLeish

Socially, culturally, politically and economically, it’s been a tough time for South Australia’s arts industry.

But the state’s COVID-free circumstances would place it better against other states’ creative sectors as it sings, dances, paints and plays its way out of a pandemic.

That’s according to a panel headlined by the Don Dunstan Foundation’s (DDF) first Thinker in Residence Martin Elbourne – as he joined the who’s who of SA’s arts industry for a webinar discussing the pandemic’s impacts on cultural institutions.

Adelaide Fringe CEO and Artistic Director Heather Croall facilitated the discussion – which featured Mr Elbourne, Adelaide UNESCO City of Music Director Beck Pearce, Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Rachel Healy and Art Gallery of South Australia Director Rhana Devenport.

Miss Pearce said the coronavirus had a ‘huge impact’ on creative industries – especially in the form of live music.

‘The main challenges were the restrictions to venues and music businesses,’ she said.

‘In terms of capacities and the ability to present live music, live performances have been hugely impacted.

‘The SA music industry contributes over $375 million – it’s a huge contributor to the economy.’

Attracting audiences to venues to dance to and interpret music has gone to a standstill; the inability for the tourism industry to thrive and lure local audiences to venues has dented SA’s economy.

So SA’s music industry and its crusading musicians face sustainability issues as they are constrained to paths of innovation, according to Miss Pearce.

‘Some musicians implement income via hospitality and teaching, which are industries that have also been impacted,’ she said.

Ms Healy said international workers were a big part of the Adelaide Festival; historically, the festival had attracted companies of up to 100 artists from around the world.

‘It’s a time-limited international arts festival – and in the middle of a pandemic, there are issues in programming,’ she said.

‘We’re seeing a bit of work locked in for the 2021 festival, but the majority of work for 2022; what we can’t fit in 2021 will impact how we program our ‘22 and ’23 years.’

Some of the other issues Ms Healy raised included getting visas for international artists through border control, an unwillingness for artists to travel and quarantine, agencies unwilling to offer insurance for incoming artists, the artists’ running costs mid and post-quarantine, and mental health issues.

‘Bureaucracy and anxiety are the main challenges for artists,’ she said.

‘You have to commit to taking one step at a time and keep going until someone tells you that you can’t keep going; everyone globally is in the same boat.

‘Most arts workers are trying to figure out a situation where they’re not sleeping out of their car.’

Ms Devenport said while the visual artists were doing it tough, it didn’t compare to live performers.

‘I really feel for the live arts; the nature of the live art form is about people being together,’ she said.

‘Without artists, everything disappears.’

To support some struggling visual artists, the Art Gallery of South Australia provided six $10,000 bursaries for artists – not something galleries typically do.

But Ms Devenport said the gallery’s annual appeal had more support than ever.

‘We’ve had lots of people deeply concerned about artists,’ she said.

Although community funding was pleasing for the gallery, Ms Devenport hoped there would be more financial support from the government for Australia’s creative industries.

‘In the UK, The Arts contributes seven per cent to its gross domestic product (GDP), and gets one per cent of government support, whereas Australia’s creative industries contribute 6.4 per cent to its GDP and only gets 0.25 per cent of support,’ she said.

While pandemic-specific challenges have impacted the arts industry, the COVID-19 crisis has provided opportunities for innovation among artists.

Mr Elbourne – who joined the webinar from The UK – has ensured successes in the music industry: booking artists at Glastonbury, co-founding WOMAD Festival and promoting festivals globally.

As the DDF’s first Thinker in Residence (2013), Mr Elbourne has evolved SA’s music industry; he said the residency inspired his career’s path over the past seven years.

One of the recommendations he made in the position was bringing the UNESCO City of Music office to Adelaide – currently headed by Miss Pearce.

Mr Elbourne said there opportunities to thrive included utilising its warm climate and rethinking the positioning of night clubs.

‘We might see the end of Hindley St – that’s the worst street in Australia and it ought to be the best street in Adelaide,’ he said.

‘What I’d like to see is large indoor night clubs moved to the outskirts of the city rather than the CBD – like Amsterdam and its super clubs.

‘The last thing opening up will be those night clubs, when people are at an indoors venue and singing and talking loudly – that’s a big no-no for quite some time.

‘But Adelaide’s climate means even in winter, you can go out and do things.’

Ms Healy said her team had been excited by opportunities for more outdoor festivals.

‘There’s always interesting opportunities to create works in non-traditional spaces that will be safer and create an event opportunity,’ she said.

Other ideas Ms Healy thought would bring masses together in a safe way included drive-in concerts, Perspex barriers separating seats in theatres, contract tracing and patron temperature checks.

Ms Croall said transitioning to digital opportunities (including Zoom plays, livestreaming and NEO Online) would meet the needs of some people unable to attend events for health reasons.

‘We’ve found ways to integrate innovations that we’ve got to roll out in the future,’ she said.

Miss Pearce said online platforms for a concert series would ‘break down accessibility barriers’.

‘It’s an opportunity to develop audiences over time,’ she said.

When it came to whether SA was better or worse placed than other states and countries, Ms Devenport said we were better placed as the majority of our industry’s audiences are local.

‘Last year, we had around a million visitors in a town of 1.3 million,’ she said.

Ms Croall said punters within the SA bubble have an opportunity to “crack in” to save the arts industry.  

‘In other galleries, 70 per cent of tickets come from out of town,’ she said.

“At the Adelaide Fringe this year, we sold 850k tickets, and although there were 30,000 tourists, nearly a million tickets sold with most of them local.’

Moving forward, the panel agreed more government funding to The Arts in SA was vital in its revival, and there was an important story to be told about what creative sectors provide households.

For example, Miss Pearce said music was key for many areas of learning.

“Music teaches literacy, social cohesion, empathy and many other things; music makes society better people and there’s a really important story to be told,’ she said.

Don Dunstan Executive Director Ritchie Hollands closed the webinar by quoting Don Dunstan:

The arts are an all-pervading part of our everyday lives. They intrude on us without our realising it, so subtle is their influence and so unrecognised their presence.

The DDF hosts Art For Good, harnessing opportunities in the arts for South Australians.

This includes the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Award and the Our Mob Emerging Artist Award.

Previous initiatives have included the Social Change Guide, which offers an overview of Adelaide Fringe Festival events with a social change theme, and the Dunstan Film Club, a quarterly movie event with a strong social justice message at its core.

Adelaide Zero Project Community Briefing: Making Progress during COVID-19

Dunstan Dialogue: Using data and collaboration to drive positive solutions

The Adelaide Zero Project is a nation-leading initiative that aims to end street homelessness in Adelaide’s inner city. The Adelaide Zero Project’s collaborative approach played a critical role in supporting people sleeping rough in the city during the COVID-19 time. This webinar shared the latest progress, data, research and solutions from Adelaide Zero Project partners and delved into the current state of street homelessness in Adelaide.

Facilitator: Louise Miller Frost, Co-Chair, Adelaide Zero Project and CEO, St Vincent De Paul Society SA

Speakers:

  • Dr Selina Tually, The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (University of South Australia)
  • Kim Holmes, State Manager, Neami National SA
  • Ian Cox, Head, Office for Homelessness Sector Integration, SA Housing Authority
  • The Hon. Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM

Presented by the Don Dunstan Foundation.  Thanks to the generous support of major event partner Capital City Committee.
Thank you to Foundation’s major partners University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

WATCH RECORDING

VIEW POWERPOINT SLIDES

Global and Local Perspectives on Homelessness in a Pandemic

Dunstan Dialogue: Learning from the challenges and looking to the future

How has homelessness been affected by the global pandemic – what do you do when the government instruction is to ‘Stay home’ but have no home to go?  This webinar featured Chief Executive Officer of All Chicago and our most recent Thinker in Residence, Dr Nonie Brennan, We discussed how COVID-19 has impacted people experiencing homelessness across the globe.

Dr Brennan was joined by leading South Australian homelessness researcher and local expert, Professor Chris Leishman as he shone a light on affordability in the Australian housing market.

Speakers:

  • Dr Nonie Brennan: Senior Advisor, Institute of Global Homelessness & former CEO, All Chicago
  • Professor Chris Leishman: Director, Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Adelaide
  • The Hon. Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM, Chairperson, Board of Directors, Don Dunstan Foundation

Watch Webinar 

Homelessness and rough sleeping are not the failure of an individual, rather they are the result of complex system breakdowns.” Dr Nonie Brennan. Read Nonie’s Thinker in Residence Report here.

Presented by the Don Dunstan Foundation. Thanks to major partner of Homelessness Week, Capital City Committee.

Thank you to Foundation’s major partners University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

SA’s food charities unite to discuss COVID-19 impacts

Written by Edward McLeish

South Australian food security’s biggest problem is not abundance but supply chain incompetence.

A constrained food supply chain – a challenge starkly exposed during the wave of pandemic panic buying that swept South Australia – and poor perceptions surrounding food security were the hottest menu items during last Friday’s Don Dunstan Foundation webinar: How To Foster Food Security in Uncertain Times.

Meals on Wheels Australia President Sharyn Broer, Food South Australia Chief Executive Catherine Sayer and Foodbank SA Chief Executive Greg Pattinson joined forces to talk about how their organisations were handling the COVID-19 climate. 

Mrs Broer said there had been a dramatic upsurge across Australia in demand for Meals on Wheels’ services. Not just from their traditional customers but also those who had previously been financially stable. 

‘There were around two and a half times more people saying ‘I think I need Meals on Wheels’ in March,’ Mrs Broer said. 

‘The tipping point was from the elderly who were independent; restaurants and cafes for those social meal activity settings were closed, so older people were challenged by the supermarket shelves.’

Mrs Broer said those who had income to fill out pantries couldn’t as food rationing was not implemented – and initially, online food shopping options were just as scarce. 

‘We were able to get an extra 400 meals a day going out to support people, but with 76,000 Meals on Wheels people nationally, and half of them over 70, there was a huge increase in demand and a sudden depletion in the workforce,’ she said. 

Food SA’s Catherine Sayer denied the state has, or had, a food security problem. 

‘We’ve got 26 million in Australia and there’s enough food for 75 million; it’s not a food security problem – the issue is the supply chain,’ Ms Sayer said. 

‘In SA, if the borders all closed, we could still feed ourselves many times over.’

Ms Sayer explained panic buying broke the supply chain. 

‘If everyone was just behaving normally, the supply chain wouldn’t break; we can manage this situation,’ she said. 

‘This is where I commend Greg Pattinson and Foodbank SA, where they organised a big food drive.’

Foodbank SA’s food drive in May – which focussed on the economically-impacted victims of the coronavirus – allowed panic buyers to drop off the items they overbought at Foodbank’s Edwardstown headquarters for those in need.

Mr Pattinson agreed the major strains on Australia’s food supply related to transport and distribution, but said South Aussies were better placed than others hit by the coronavirus. 

‘The other states relied on the charity sector to pass on food to clients,’ he said. 

‘During COVID, all those charities interstate closed; In WA, they couldn’t get food out to people.’

Foodbank SA has a growing number of food hubs to help the food-insecure shop for themselves, which Mr Pattinson said, like Meals on Wheels, is a more ‘dignified, customer-based’ method.

‘People can come and shop for themselves rather than getting a hamper, and having that choice helps people’s mental health,’ he said. 

According to Mr Pattinson, there is a stigma around people seeing if they qualify for food insecurity services.

‘We’ve heard stories of people walking around the front of our hubs for two days before plucking up the courage to ask for help; it is a mentally challenging environment,’ he said. 

‘There’s still lots of areas in SA with no charities to support and there are high unemployment rates in these country towns. We need to address the food needs of people in those small communities. 

‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’

Did you miss out on the How to Foster Food Security in Uncertain Times webinar? You can watch the replay.

The Don Dunstan Foundation will present another web seminar: How to sing, dance, paint and play our way out of COVID-19 on Wednesday July 15. Tickets here.

Homelessness Week Student Challenge: Creative responses to homelessness

 

With housing issues at the forefront of people’s minds and unemployment levels rising, this year may be the most important Homelessness Week yet. In the midst of this global pandemic, we are facilitating a series of dynamic online articles, events and videos to ensure this important week continues to be highlighted. There will be a special global focus with homelessness expert, Dr Nonie Brennan, joining us live from Canada. A progress update will also be given on The Adelaide Zero Project and its goal of reaching functional zero street homelessness in the inner city by the end of 2020.

Student Challenge: Creative responses to homelessness
Digital Conversation/ Online challenge

University of Adelaide and Flinders University students will delve into the complex issue of homelessness and what it might look like in 2030.

Find more information in the downloadables below.

Final entries due 9 am, 29 July to emilie.soda@adelaide.edu.au

Student Challenge Overview

Download

Student Challenge Additional Information

Download