The Meaning of Home

Anglicare Australia today called on the government to reclaim responsibility for providing a home to all of its citizens, releasing the 2017 State of the Family Report, The Meaning of Home.

“Home should be a space we can make our own. It’s our place to belong. Everyone needs – and should have – a home” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

Ms Chambers said that the main finding of the report was that people seeking help need unconditional support to rebuild their lives.

“Their stories show that home is about more than having a roof over our heads – it’s about community, belonging, and security. Home is the basis on which we all build our lives,” Ms Chambers said.

“This report explores the experiences of people who use Anglicare services, including Anglicare NT. We’ve also surveyed hundreds of Australians on what home means to them.”

“The Northern Territory has the highest rates of homelessness of any State or Territory in Australia. The impact of homelessness is all-encompassing. It can affect a person’s physical and mental health, increase the likelihood of alcohol and substance abuse and reduce opportunities for employment and education,” said Anglicare NT CEO Mr Dave Pugh.

“How people think about home is very different to generations past; it is much less about bricks and mortar and more about a sense of safety and belonging somewhere and feeling like they fit in,” said Mr Pugh.

“Anglicare NT recognises the importance of building welcoming and connected communities that are able to care for children and families. Our activities aim to promote healthy relationships and child-friendly communities, support youth at risk and reduce disadvantage.”

Anglicare NT’s housing services support people in various stages of their journey from homelessness into transitional housing and long-term tenancies. Services use child and family-friendly case management approaches that strengthen family skills and help build people’s capacity to sustain tenancies, engage in education and employment, and fulfil personal goals.

“Anglicare NT continues to work with the Northern Territory and Australian governments on long term strategic investments to ensure stability in housing for those people who most need support. Particular emphasis should be placed on housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and young people. We will all benefit when every Territorian has a safe home in a positive community.”

The Meaning of Home is Anglicare Australia’s 17th State of the Family Report. It can be downloaded here. Key recommendations include:
• Designing employment and education programs in partnership with the people who will use them
• Giving young people in out-of-home care the option of getting support until 21, instead of terminating care at 18
• Ensuring the basic safety net is non-conditional and meets everyone’s needs. This includes income support, education, housing, and settlement support.

Brendan from Gunbalanya shares about what home means to him in the report.