Supporting the Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria
In February 2020, Infoxchange Group CEO David Spriggs gave evidence to the Parliament of Victoria’s Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee for the Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria. The Committee’s final report, which references our work with Ask Izzy, was tabled in Parliament on 4 March 2021.
Last week saw the release of the final report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria. The report acknowledges that “homelessness is one of the most complex and distressing expressions of disadvantage and social exclusion in our society and demands immediate attention by government.” It also articulates the main drivers of homelessness: lack of access to affordable housing, inadequate income support, and domestic and family violence.
Most importantly, the report outlines the Committee’s key messages and recommendations to the government, the homelessness service sector and the community on what must be done to end homelessness.
At the heart of the report is the recommendation that more long‑term housing must be provided, and that early intervention needs to be strengthened to identify and support people at risk of homelessness before they become homeless.
The report identifies that the sector is currently forced to focus on the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness due to overwhelming demand on services available, however crisis resources could be used more effectively if fewer people become homeless.
The importance of re-orienting the homelessness and housing service system from crisis-oriented to an emphasis on prevention and early intervention was one of the key issues raised by Infoxchange Group CEO David Spriggs when he gave evidence to the Inquiry.
David spoke about the role of technology and data as enablers in breaking the cycle of homelessness and how it can play a crucial role in improving service coordination and breaking down silos between service providers and government.
For example, through Ask Izzy we connect people in need with housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling and more. The site is free and anonymous, listing thousands of local support services across Australia which can assist people in crisis – or support them before they get to that point.
David also discussed how in other jurisdictions our client and case management technology is already being used to share client information with consent between service providers to avoid clients having to repeat their story, and to share information about vacancy and capacity between services.
It was a privilege to contribute to the Inquiry and we’re pleased to see that the final report has referenced our work with Ask Izzy. We look forward to seeing the Government’s response to the report within the next six months, and to continuing to collaborate with governments and the sector to end homelessness in Victoria.
To search for support services in your area visit askizzy.org.au.