Every year housing services around Australia operate with skeleton staff in largely vacated buildings as other services close between Christmas and New Year.
Housing Connect services don’t close.
The festive season can be a difficult time for many and last year there was a 333% increase in individuals and families in need of crisis accommodation referrals.
In order to ensure all Housing Connect clients and staff are supported during this period, Colony 47 invites CatholicCare to collocate at their Collins Street office.
Front Door Coordinator, Olivia Shekleton, said the arrangement gives workers from each service the opportunity to work together, support each other and share their skills and knowledge.
“It can be a difficult time of year to work with people in crisis but, by sharing our workspace with other services it becomes a really valuable learning experience,” said Ms Shekleton.
“This time of year is particularly challenging as accommodation options are extremely limited due to peak tourism rates and availability.”
Last year there was a 40% increase in the number of males seeking assistance, with 65% of the overall intake for the period aged between 21 and 35 years.
“We saw a range of reasons for people seeking assistance with family violence a recurring factor, whilst many young people presented because their couch surfing arrangements fell through, due to visiting relatives and holiday commitments of their hosts,” said Ms Shekleton.
Emergency relief agencies also operate throughout the Christmas and New Year period.