Page 1811 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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The unmet demand for homelessness services in the ACT is provided in Table 4. Figures for 2019-20, which are supplied by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and provided to the Report on Government Services, will become available in January 2021. Data for this indicator is not available prior to 2011-12.

Table 5. Unmet need for accommodation and services other than accommodation for clients of specialist homelessness services in the ACT, 2011-12 to 2018-19.

(Data available at the Chamber Support Office).

6. The ACT Government has an established process for managing unmet demand for homelessness assistance. The role of OneLink is to provide homelessness assistance on a needs-based system. As the central access service for homelessness in the ACT, it identifies, assesses and prioritises different needs of clients, and then connects them with appropriate accommodation and support services. Each client can be connected with one or more services depending how their need(s) can be best met.

At the end of each quarter, OneLink report on the number of people still waiting at the end of each month within the quarter to be connected to any service , both accommodation and non-accommodation support services. Some people waiting at the end of the month may have had some service needs met while still waiting for connection to others.

On 20 April, the ACT Government announced $3 million in funding specifically to respond to increased demand for homelessness and family and domestic violence services arising from COVID-19. This was part of $9 million funding package for community services during COVID-19. The ACT Government worked closely with community sector partners to respond and several new programs have commenced and are being monitored. These include the Client Support Fund which commenced on 11 May 2020 and has provided accommodation and support to twenty five individuals and/ or families, the Winter Lodge also opened 11 May 2020 and as at 8 June 2020 has had 26 men access the service. As at 8 June 2020, Axial housing housed 21 rough sleepers, including some entrenched rough sleepers who have previously been unwilling to engage with services.

7. An estimate of the number of people living below the poverty line in the ACT is not readily available from official sources, and any time series of estimates would be considered statistically unreliable due to the small sample size of the ACT in national surveys.

The sector has increasingly moved away from reliance on a single poverty line measure, towards a variety of measures of socio-economic deprivation and/or attainment in considering appropriate policy measures and responses.

The ACT Government monitors and considers a broad range of quantitative and qualitative information regarding the need for access to relevant services in the community. As service needs and levels of demand change the government adjusts its programs and eligibility criteria in response, to ensure adequate access to services for people in need of them.

8. A number of indicators under the ACT Government’s Wellbeing Framework, launched in March this year, will examine the financial positions of people living in the ACT and

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