Homelessness SA was officially launched on Friday March 2nd 2001, as a result of the coming together of three peak groups who represented agencies funded through the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP). These groups were the Youth Housing Network (YHN), Council to Homeless Persons SA (CHPSA), and the Women’s Emergency Services Coalition (WESC).
Four major issues underlying the push for a single peak were the:
- sector wanting to strengthen its voice to government
- overlap in issues between the SAAP sectors; for example, domestic violence is a significant issue for family and youth services
- desire to facilitate greater coordination of efforts between all services to homeless people
- improved chances of increasing the resourcing for the homelessness sector
HomelessnessSA is a statewide organisation that has a growing membership, including a wide range of organisations, services, and individuals who have an interest in homelessness. HomelessnessSA seeks to be inclusive, and encourages the participation of people who have experienced homelessness. HomelessnessSA invites everyone with skills, knowledge or interest in the area to join together to work on the broader issues that are intertwined with homelessness.
HomelessnessSA advocates strongly that homelessness is not simply about shelter; it is about people who live on the margins, and allowing them to join us and share in all the things that most Australians take for granted. It is about breaking down fear and prejudice, and having the will to do what is right.
The vision of HomelessnessSA is the elimination of homelessness through:
- advocating for the rights of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- identifying and striving to address the conditions that create homelessness and inequality
- promoting a society where all people are valued and included
- encouraging active participation, cooperation and innovation
The mission of HomelessnessSA is to undertake advocacy, networking and community education on homelessness in South Australia
The objectives of HomelessnessSA are to provide an effective voice regarding homelessness and related issues by:
- facilitating communication and enabling Members to network, liaise and share information to support the coordination of services to people who are homeless in South Australia
- operating as the peak body for people who are homeless in South Australia
- representing the interests of people who are homeless in South Australia to those involved in the political system including government at all levels, the media and the community
- advocating for social justice for people who are homeless in South Australia and their right to safe and secure housing
- contributing to the development of policy that prevents or ameliorates homelessness and promotes the provision of adequate services to meet the needs of people who are homeless in South Australia or at risk of becoming homeless
- encouraging the development and provision of services and service standards to meet the needs of people who are homeless in South Australia
- fostering an understanding of homelessness through research and consultation with people who are homeless, with services, with the broader community and with government
- establishing and maintaining relationships with appropriate national bodies
- undertaking all such other things as may be incidental to the achievement of the above objectives