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Did you know 116,000 Australians are homeless every night, and that the unfortunate people we see on the streets (‘sleeping rough’) are just a tiny percentage of a much larger, mostly invisible problem? With a chronic shortage of social/affordable housing that’s only set to grow, homelessness can seem like an overwhelming, virtually unsolvable problem. But there are some brilliant and passionate people out there who are making a huge difference and who believe that with the right ideas and approaches, homelessness can genuinely become a thing of the past.

On 5 September our Philanthropy team brought together interested Philanthropy clients as well as sector leading experts to discuss this very topic. The three expert guests presented on how their respective organisations are advocating for the homeless, helping them to tackle the challenges of being homeless and, ultimately, making sure all Australians enjoy the basic right of a roof over their head. The experts included;

  • Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, 2016 Young Australians of the Year and founders of free laundry service for the homeless, Orange Sky
  • Major Brendan Nottle, a Salvation Army veteran of 22 years and leader of Project 614 Night Cafe
  • Sally Hines, Chief Operating Officer of iconic publication The Big Issue and the Homes for Homes initiative, whereby a small percentage of the money from a property’s sale goes towards building social housing.

The session generated a lot of thought-provoking conversation for us as philanthropists, including how to use various levers and strategies both for short-term impact – such as restoring homeless people’s self-esteem and sense of hope – to long-term impacts, such as providing incentives for the conversion of existing non-occupied properties into community housing.

If you are interested in attending similar events in the future, please contact your Relationship Manager.