Government commissions head-count of ‘veteran homelessness’

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan announced today that the government has commissioned a research project into homelessness in the veteran community.

Mr Tehan said the University of New South Wales and the University of Adelaide had been engaged to conduct research into the issue.

He said the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) was commissioned by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to run a competitive tender process for the research.

“The process included consultation with representatives from key Australian and state government agencies, ex-service organisations and homelessness service providers,” Mr Tehan said.

“The research will be completed by the end of 2017.”

In the interim, Mr Tehan pointed out the existence of homelessness services provided by state, territory and local governments, as well as many community-sector organisations, listed on DVA’s website, here.

Minister Tehan said the new research would focus on developing estimates of the number of veterans accessing homeless services, the factors that cause homelessness and the experiences of homeless veterans.

“The aim is to collect data about homelessness in the veteran community so the government can better integrate support services available to homeless veterans with those offered by mainstream specialist homelessness service providers,” Mr Tehan said.

“The study complements work undertaken since 2015 by DVA and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to include veteran identifiers in the data collected about homelessness in the Australian community.

“Veteran homelessness is a challenge that requires a coordinated national approach to ensure the provision of appropriate assistance to all former members of the Australian Defence Force.

“Where DVA becomes aware of a veteran who has become homeless or is at risk of homelessness, it takes steps to ensure they have access to available services and support.”

 

OPINION: If this last statement were true, surely there would be no homelessness issue among veterans, by default – unless, of course, ‘access to available services and support‘ means soup kitchens and blankets, rather than appropriate housing solutions or assistance.

I also note the wording (highlighted in red above), which suggests the research aspires to little more than a head count and ‘better coordinating of existing charitable services’ – i.e. no new services or plans of action.

And, as noted in bold, the headcount is limited to those who are already accessing services.

Surely if you were serious about this issue you wouldn’t commission a 14-month study to simply count what DVA already knows – you’d appoint a commissioner or special envoy or someone tasked, authorised and funded to actually do something tangible.

But that’s just my opinion.

What say you?

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24hr-crisis-1800-300x244P.S. I encourage you all to check out Veterans360, who are already working at the coalface on this issue. In my humble opinion, the government would have been much better off spending the money they spent on the ‘study’ above on this organisation instead. It could have produced on-the-ground effects straight away – and eventually produced the statistics they seek, as a by-product. 

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

12 thoughts on “Government commissions head-count of ‘veteran homelessness’

  • 08/02/2018 at 2:21 am
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    We will all be dead soon and DVA wins again . So tell the world DO NOT JOIN THE FORCES as they will just lie to you . DVA is a deadshit vulgar ass wipes hence DVA

    Reply
  • 09/11/2016 at 7:48 am
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    I could not agree more with all the comments the time is now, and the need is now, so as suggested we need feet on the ground now and a bucket of money to arrange accomodation and support services and faclities. I am a Vietnem veteran and this senario is not new it has been going on for years. Take a trp to Kuranda and see all the Vets that live in the scrub ther and seek an existance by making things and selling them at the markets for existance, however these people have become more adapt over the years and now live comfortably, but the fact remains they needed assistance and it was not there.lets not fail our ervice people again get the finger out and do somethin. As an afterthought the Queensland State RSL are trying to identify these people and assist with accomodation and other assistance. I am an Advocate and work for everyone not some, and i am appaled at the time it takes to settle a claim under the current MRCA system and i am not the only one my fellow Advocates are of the same opinion this system is causing more harm than goodand we are Vietnem Veterans.

    Reply
    • 08/02/2018 at 2:17 am
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      Have you ever tried to get a medical report cleared by DVA even if done by a professor ? They say he / she in not qualified ??DVA just want us dead and we were to young to get RSL help or other just a get lost kid response. Not many of us still living i am the last of 199 of the under 16yrs old group i joined with . It would be better to get a bullet than live with DVA get lost replies and the get lost response from Australia. They still just want us dead . Not long Now

      Reply
  • 06/11/2016 at 10:04 pm
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    Why TF ask a bunch of left wing uni morons to do a study when we already know what their answer will be. There is no need – there are boots on the ground who have the knowledge. A 14 month study??? That also is an absolute crock of sh1t, even if only from the time perspective. Surely, if they think this is serious enough to warrant that time and that expense for this study- and it’ll cost a bomb as well – they’d be better off providing appropriate interim funding where it’s needed immediately. The question will be where that is and guys such as Jay’s mob already have those answers. Typical beaurocratic BS in my opinion and the result will come too late for some and that is not acceptable.

    Reply
  • 06/11/2016 at 4:37 pm
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    A 14 month study for what?? To continue paying wages of career bureaucrats who won’t do anything other than justify their own existence until the funding runs out and they move onto their next ‘project’.

    Sadly THIS is how government and most non-government agencies actually work. For every genuinely compassionate hard working individual that works their arse off trying to help people you have 20 others just there for the 9am til 4pm 35 hour work week, with TOIL and attractive salary sacrifice component of their wages. And then you have the special breed of parasites who would never make it in the commercial world, or who have already failed there, that float from project to project in the government and not for profit sector, that specialise in bleeding off funds to keep their wages going until they move on leaving a pile of debts and broken people in their wake.

    And right down the bottom of the list of priorities is actually helping the poor bastards this is all supposed to be about.

    I saw one project bleed through over $5 Million dollars that kept 5 ‘professional’ people employed for 4 years despite not actually ever doing what they were supposed to do. Couple of them got nice new pools built and giant sheds at home … and a bbq area … they all drove flash brand new luxury cars (no plain old Commodores for them!), latest phones, laptops, espresso machine in their kitchen etc When the funding eventually ran out they all moved onto other projects where it was ‘rinse and repeat’ … 10 years later still in there leeching away.

    Stop ‘studying’ and support the ‘Do-ers!’ with organisations like V360!

    Reply
    • 06/11/2016 at 7:07 pm
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      Hi Dave. You’re nearly as cynical as I am 🙂
      …and I can’t disagree with you.
      Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  • 06/11/2016 at 4:00 pm
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    Hi Brian,
    I am sure that there are many out there have the same opinion as you and equally felt frustrated of the plights of our Veterans and like me, have great difficulties put words onto paper or other means, or just trying to express our views.
    If there are other means of support/s please feel free to let us know .

    Reply
    • 06/11/2016 at 4:14 pm
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      Thanks Jesse. Good point.
      If you really want to help, I encourage you to support Veterans360 (http://v360.org.au) as per above. That may or may not mean a financial donation. You could also support them on the web, just by following them on Facebook etc – and ‘Like’ing, following, commenting etc etc to help them spread the word.
      Anyway, thank you for your comment.
      Brian

      Reply
  • 05/11/2016 at 1:16 am
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    The ‘system’ is clueless as to whom most veterans are, let alone whether they are living under a roof or not. There is a huge ‘no mans land’ between ADF discharge and DVA acceptance and support (terms used loosely). Those that are struggling for help or ‘flying under the radar’ are the unknown and unstudied mass. Many veterans are incapable of fighting the fight with the DVA, due to deleterious emotional state, and reduced cognitive and executive function caused by ‘PTSD’. I contend that the military variant of PTSD is more esoteric and insidious that civilian forms, and is not being identified and treated correctly. A term other than ‘PTSD’ is required to accurately describe the phenomenon, such as ‘post-ADF syndrome’. Additionally, many veterans don’t trust the DVA and its adversarial processes, nor trust the civilian health system to acknowledge and treat them correctly. After all, the DVA relies entirely on the community health system, one which is financially tied to Medicare, a bureaucratic monolith which is due to run aground shortly. I cynically expect that Mr Tehan is commissioning the above-mentioned study to announce via obscure statistics that ‘there is no veteran homelessness problem’. Look out for that chestnut, just like the ADF Surgeon General’s claim that PTSD is pre-existing, and precedes military enlistment!

    Reply
  • 04/11/2016 at 10:47 pm
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    As the founder of V360 Australia I am able to tell you there is a need for this study, but moreover there’s a need for immediate funding to address the issues now. With studies being commissioned in QLD (where subject matter experts were overlooked) and now federally, I would like to know when some real money is going to be put towards this mission. DVA are great supporters of ours and we know they want to help more than they can now, we just need suitable grants to be made available for operational funding. Best grants will buy computers and printers, but Ops are where the work lays. Meanwhile RSL aren’t interested in funding this and we’re not able to do the work that’s needed while fundraising too.

    Reply
    • 05/11/2016 at 11:13 am
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      Hi Jay. Thank you for your comment – and, more especially, for the work you and V360 do.
      As I alluded to in my comments, if the government was actually serious about this issue, they wouldn’t commission a 14-month study so that they can eventually (maybe) “better integrate support services”. In my humble opinion, if they funded your proactive-assistance organisation to better do the work you are already doing, their dollars would be much better spent right now – and, you could supply them with much more useful statistics and coal-face information as a by-product.
      Assuming you won’t object, I will promote your organisation and your crisis line whenever I can.

      Reply
  • 04/11/2016 at 7:57 pm
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    Am I the only one with an opinion on this? 🙁

    Reply

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