City of Perth could approve $243,000 Volunteering WA sponsorship for homelessness

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Perth looks set to enter into a three-year, $243,000 sponsorship deal to help Volunteering WA hold the annual Homeless Connect Perth event.

On Tuesday evening the City’s Marketing, Sponsorship and International Engagement Committee voted to recommend the Council embrace the sponsorship arrangement, running from October this year until December 2019.

The deal will deliver $81,000 a year for three years, specifically for the delivery of Homeless Connect Perth.

The Committee also recommended Council approve in-kind sponsorship of up to $5,500 a year for costs associated with event bins, event parking and road closure advertising.

Volunteering WA refused to comment on the proposed arrangement or the Committee’s decision. The organisation’s website describes Homeless Connect Perth as being “based on a one-stop-shop model of service provision to homeless people”.

“We bring together business and community groups to provide free services to homeless people for a day. Our goal is to hold Homeless Connect twice a year – winter and summer – in the short term and to work towards creating a permanent “one-stop-shop” for homeless services in Perth,” the website states.

Homeless Connect Perth has received acknowledgment from other sectors – twice receiving a City of Perth Australia Day Award and in 2016 being named a finalist in the WA Council of Social Service Community Services Excellence Awards.

City of Perth staff advised the Committee that feedback from the homeless support sector indicated Homeless Connect Perth was considered “beneficial to managing homelessness in the city, with many homeless service providers closing for the day to be part of the event”.

The report said the success of Homeless Connect Perth was due to the “unique partnership” of the City of Perth, Volunteering WA, and all the volunteers, service providers, donors and community supporters.

While the day-long event is currently held once a year, Volunteering WA works all year round on various aspects of the project – in particular liaising with service providers, coordinating the collection and sorting of donations before and after the event, recruiting volunteers and seeking other sponsors and fundraising events.

Earlier this year the City of Perth was bequeathed $179,454 to be used for the purpose of Homeless Connect. City staff advised that it is not the City’s intention to use this money to subsidise the City’s contribution to the Homeless Connect Perth day, but instead develop longer term initiatives.

The City intends to work with Volunteering WA to identify these initiatives and report back to Council for funding decisions.

Perth Council will vote on the sponsorship deal on October 11.

More information about Homeless Connect Perth can be found at homelessconnect.volunteeringwa.org.au.