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Constellation illuminates way to end homelessness


Sarah’s past experiences of trauma, abuse and homelessness have meant that she’s never really been able to maintain a safe and stable environment for herself or her children.

“As a result of not being able to finish my formal education, I didn’t have a strong position to fall back on. This meant that at the end of 2018, after experiencing domestic violence, my two young children and I were left at risk of homelessness.”

Having to navigate ‘maze-like’ systems along with inadequate service responses has meant that the ongoing threat of homelessness has continued.

Sarah’s story is just one of many that is informing the Constellation Project, which aims to end homelessness in a generation.

The project received $99,000 this year to help it embed more insights of people’s lived experiences of homelessness, which will ultimately inform practical solutions.

More than 300 organisations including corporates, governments, academia, philanthropists and not-for-profits have come together under the project and are working on new ideas that will tackle the issue at a systems level. They include founding members Australian Red Cross, Centre for Social Impact, Mission Australia, and PwC Australia.

A key goal is to increase the supply of safe, secure, accessible and affordable homes for people on very low-to-moderate incomes.

“Government, corporate and philanthropic funding has typically been directed towards immediate needs and stop-gaps like temporary accommodation, rather than long-term solutions that increase the supply of affordable housing for those that need it the most,” according to Davina Dressler, Stakeholder and Strategic Relationships Manager at The Constellation Project.

The project also seeks new ways to prevent people from becoming homeless and, for those that do, better pathways to accelerate their journeys back into homes.

The project has recently appointed a paid Lived Experience Coordinator – who has had their own lived experience of homelessness – demonstrating best practice in inclusion. It is also exploring ways to reduce the three-quarters of young people in the youth justice system who end up accessing homeless services.

The Constellation Project was funded by trusts managed by Equity Trustees - the Harold Moreland Oldham Perpetual Trust, J E & N Ganderton Endowment and the Cederic Ivor Morrison Perpetual Trust.

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