Recently announced Victorian Government cuts to one of Victoria's most successful homelessness prevention initiatives will put thousands of Victorians, including children, at risk of becoming homeless.
The 30% cuts this year and the further 10% cuts next year will reduce the availability of desperately needed support services by around 2,600 households - representing nearly half of the 6,000 households who were helped in the last 12 months. Without the smart and innovative response provided by SHASP, many of these households will inevitably lose their housing and become homeless.
SHASP plays a critical role in making our public housing system more efficient and financially sustainable, with a halving of the statewide eviction rate in the six years it has been operating.
These frontline service cuts will create additional demand for homelessness, health, family violence and child protection services and expose men, women and children to trauma through housing crisis and homelessness.
There is a clear and direct connection between homelessness and frequent use of high cost government services. There are also life-long consequences for people exposed to violence and trauma. Vulnerable groups like families, youth, women, older residents and children are exposed to even greater harm when they become homeless.
The Save SHASP Campaign is calling on the Victorian Government to urgently review all proposed cuts to this service in consultation with service providers and commit to the long-term future of SHASP in Victoria.
More information: www.saveshasp.com
Please review the cuts to this vital community service and restore services to those who need them. We can't afford to reduce homelessness prevention at this time - especially to vulnerable individuals and families.
It will cost us more in the long run - both financially and in social costs - if we take away highly targeted and effective support services like SHASP.
There is a clear and direct connection between homelessness and frequent use of high cost government services. There are also life-long consequences for people exposed to violence and trauma.
Please reconsider this course of action and review the cuts to this vital community service.