StreetSmart Australia

By on Apr 15, 2024 in Giving, Global

Yardi-supported nonprofit StreetSmart Australia was founded in 2003 in Melbourne. This organization believes everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home. StreetSmart brings about change for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness by raising funds and awareness to support smaller, grassroots organizations.  

StreetSmart Australia clients

“We distribute support and funds back into the regions in which they were raised because, after 20 years of creating place-based impact for those most vulnerable, we believe this is a powerful way of ensuring sustained change,” said Geoff Hills, CEO of StreetSmart.

In Australia, the homelessness crisis has increased to five percent over the past four years. Currently, 300 people are turned away each day from Specialist Homelessness Services. Unfortunately, 23% of the population is missing meals, and rough sleeping has surged by 103% over the past two years with the increasing demand and declining fundraising.

StreetSmart responds to homelessness in diverse ways, and right now, they are focused on three key outcomes: boosting housing support, increasing access to nutritious food and providing direct material aid to those sleeping rough, such as clothing.

StreetSmart commitment to action on homelessness takes many forms, and its work focuses on six key impact pillars:

  • Accessing, setting up, and maintaining safe, secure homes.
  • Feeding people and families going hungry.
  • Breaking the cycle through training, employment, and education
  • Emergency support and essentials for those in crisis
  • Reducing risk through wellbeing and social inclusion
  • Strengthening communities through advocacy and education

Funding from Yardi amplifies the depth of StreetSmart’s work by building capacity and scaling its impact, which means more families and people facing homelessness will not be turned away when they seek help but instead be supported into safe homes to call their own, fed a nutritious meal and given bedding to have a warm and secure night’s sleep. Support is aimed at households and individuals in the New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC) and Queensland (QLD) communities.

“Yardi’s support to StreetSmart in 2023 has had an immediate and powerful impact on families and people experiencing homelessness. Yardi’s donations have helped keep hungry children fed, train and employ at-risk cohorts to be financially secure and create safe, stable homes for families exiting homelessness,” explained Hills.

Thomas’s Journey

StreetSmart’s grant-making has supported Thomas, a young person with a long history of housing insecurity. He has been endorsed to be trained and employed at his local Social Enterprise, one of StreetSmart’s community partners. This opportunity has empowered Thomas to gain independence, security, and connection, which are vital to ending and preventing homelessness.

“The job has given me independence, which is a huge plus. I’m able to do more things and get on top of bills. It’s my first stable job, and I finally have stable accommodation for the first time in years. Since I was 17, I have lived in more than 50 shared accommodations. I really enjoy my work and love being part of such a great team.”

Volunteer Opportunities

StreetSmart has local volunteering partners in NSW, VIC and QLD, which offer volunteers the opportunity to participate in making culturally appropriate meals for vulnerable individuals. There is also an opportunity for Yardi to host and cook a BBQ for vulnerable people at a project site in Melbourne CBD. 

“As a small team of 7, StreetSmart welcomes skilled volunteers who would like to offer their time and expertise to join the fight against homelessness in Australia. These volunteering opportunities are project-based, which means that a team member of StreetSmart will liaise and work directly with skilled volunteers on a particular ‘task,’ which can take approximately 4 to 15 hours per project,” shared Hills.

If you would like to get involved and support their mission, get in touch with the StreetSmart team via [email protected]

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