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As we know at MCM, having a home is critical for people’s mental and physical health, their education and employment opportunities, and their ability to fully participate in society. This submission focuses on the interface between youth homelessness and the over representation of young people in the criminal justice system, and the distinct set of challenges that vulnerable young people face that require a differentiated response to adults. Lack of stable housing is one of the biggest factors that is driving up the number of young people and in particular young women on remand and in prison, many of these young people have experienced adverse childhood experiences including family violence and are homeless as a result. Furthermore, people without a home are at risk of spending longer periods in prison as they must have access to stable housing to get parole. MCM urges the Victorian Government to shift from a crisis investment lens to an early intervention lens funding supported medium term housing, family violence prevention and continue the focus on reforming the out of home care system.
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MCM and Y-Change welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the Draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022 – 2032 (Draft Plan) and commends the Australian Government on maintaining this important focus. This submission should be read in conjunction with MCM’s submission to the National Plan for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children. The increased focus on preventing and responding to gender-based violence across Australia is strongly welcomed, however despite this focus, young people who are experiencing family violence are not recognised as victim-survivors in their own right and have been overlooked by the Draft Plan. Adolescents and young people are largely seen under the Draft Plan for their use of harm and violence and are not referenced in the title of the Draft Plan.
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The Annual Financial Statement for MCM for 2021.
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Family violence continues to be a pervasive, systemic issue in Australia. In Victoria, the need for deep and sustained reform to address this challenge was reflected in the outcomes from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Significant progress has been made in implementing these recommendations, however, gaps remain for young people who are experiencing family violence, either in the home or from an intimate partner. The Amplify Project, undertaken by Melbourne City Mission, seeks to understand this gap in policy and services and map a way forward. This report outlines the findings from the research conducted as part of this project and which has been shaped and guided by the insights of lived expertise.
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Young people are a significant group experiencing homelessness in Victoria. Compared to older cohorts, young people have distinctive pathways into, and experiences of homelessness. To effectively meet the needs of young people a youth-specific homelessness strategy is required in Victoria. This Final Report presents the research findings for the project Towards a Youth Homelessness Strategy for Victoria by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) for Melbourne City Mission (MCM). The Final Report synthesises the findings of the Positioning Paper and the deliberations of the Investigative Panel facilitated by AHURI. The findings and recommendations of the Positioning Paper formed the basis of a focused panel discussion between sector leaders and the policy community (Investigative Panel) that considered what strategic policy framework is required to support young people experiencing homelessness in Victoria most effectively.