Australia is a prosperous country that prides itself on fairness, however too many individuals and families struggle to meet their basic needs and participate fully in society.

In this election, we are looking to the next government to implement policies and programs to alleviate the burden on the most vulnerable and to facilitate the supports they need to be active economic and social participants.

Rates of homelessness remain stubbornly high and there is no national plan to reduce homelessness over the long term. While there have been laudable efforts to address some of the major drivers of homelessness including domestic and family violence, substance abuse and poor mental health, greater investment is needed in evidence-based programs to stop homelessness before it happens and to house people experiencing it.

A severe lack of affordable housing continues to place people of all ages at risk of homelessness due to rental stress and makes it difficult for them to exit from homelessness into a permanent home. We believe that everyone has the right to safe, secure and affordable accommodation and a place to call home. A sustained reduction in homelessness requires leadership from the Federal government.

Together with Anglicare Australia, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, UnitingCare and Wesley Mission we’ve launched a campaign calling on the major parties to commit to halving homelessness by 2025 and to provide sustainable funding for our services.

There has been a great response to our Vote Home campaign and if you haven’t already done so please sign the petition.

We are also hosting a number of forums across the country, where we will introduce our clients to senior politicians to explore their personal experiences of homelessness.

But addressing disadvantage and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable Australians requires improvements in many areas across the policy spectrum.

We believe such work must start early, with all young children given access to high quality and affordable early education and care, as well as tailored family support programs.

Youth unemployment remains unacceptably high and young people need to be given the opportunities, guidance and support to successfully navigate the pathways from adolescence into employment. Alongside this, our welfare system must provide an adequate safety net for the unemployed, be easier to navigate and encourage economic participation through an early investment approach.

The next government will have the challenge of tackling social and economic disadvantage. Mission Australia stands ready to work in a collaborative and evidence based approach to address these challenges.

You can read in more detail what we believe are the priorities and the policy responses required of an incoming government here .

Catherine Yeomans

 

Catherine Yeomans
CEO Mission Australia
@cathyeomans

 

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Founding Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'