While not yet quite a large area of our efforts, the area of research is becoming more and more important to quantify and back up much of what we have been saying since we began. This research includes keeping better data records of our programs including attendance and other information.
Working in conjunction with other local-based organisations such as Anchor, YRHAG, The Yarra Ranges Council, and the Salvation Army Homeless Support Unit we collect, share and disseminate our data to help keep an accurate picture of the homeless, and at-risk situation in the Yarra Ranges.
Some of the areas that we have either conducted or been part of the research includes;
Some of the future plans for research include conducting a Yarra Ranges wide count of rough sleepers. This has never been done, and the suspicion is that existing numbers are far higher than is expected. Such a count could never be undertaken by one organisation, which is why the proposed count will involve several organisations and individuals throughout the Yarra Ranges.
Data collected in the count and other research activities will prove valuable for future grant and funding proposals as well as providing Government funding decisions to be based more on fact than conjecture.
We found that rental delinquency was one of the larger causes of homeless and family breakup in the Yarra Ranges. The causes for a family break up vary but can be generally blamed on the loss of employment, illness of primary earners, drug and alcohol issues, and family violence.
It was determined that some of these issues could be prevented when it was understood that many in the community are unaware of their available resources and rights.
After consulting with many of the Yarra Ranges Real Estate Agents and with a grant from the Yarra Ranges Bendigo Banks, we developed and produced the brochure. The brochure is available as both paper-based and a digital download.