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May 2024 - StreetSmart

At SNDYS, we believe in giving back, which is why each month a different team member gets to choose a charity close to their heart. For every sale made, we'll donate $1 to that chosen charity.

This month, our Social Media Manager, Zoe, has chosen StreetSmart. Zoe chose this charity specifically as she has a strong passion for doing her bit to make a difference where possible. Given that on any given night across Australia, more than 122,000 people are homeless, she believes that as a community, we can make a difference.

StreetSmart was founded by Adam Robinson in 2003. The aim of founding StreetSmart was to play the unique role of simultaneously raising vital funds for these important smaller local organisations, strengthening them through collaboration and connecting them to their community and helping break down inaccurate prejudices about people experiencing homelessness.

We recently sat down for a Q&A session with the team at StreetSmart, to understand more about homelessness within Australia and what we could do to make a difference. Here are the highlights from our conversation.

Who is StreetSmart and what is its mission?
StreetSmart responds to and prevents homelessness in Australia because we believe everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home. By raising funds and awareness to support smaller, grassroots organisations, we bring about change for people experiencing and at risk of
homelessness.

What are some of the key initiatives or programs that StreetSmart has implemented to raise awareness about Homelessness in the Australian community?
StreetSmart believes that ending homelessness will take a whole-of-
community approach and so we create opportunities for everyone to take action.
In particular through our two hospitality based campaigns, CafeSmart in August and DineSmart in December, we leverage the power of collective action in bringing about change for people experiencing and facing homelessness. These are community-led events where cafes and restaurants activate fundraising for their local homelessness services and through the simple act of buying a coffee dining out, people create positive social change in their local region.
To date, we have distributed over $12 million dollars across 1,100
community partners.

How does StreetSmart support individuals who are experiencing
homelessness?
Homelessness is diverse and so is our response. Our support helps to prevent, respond to, and end homelessness in all its forms for people from all walks of life.
We help provide support like safe and secure housing, street outreach and medical care, food relief and nutritious meals, emergency relief and basic essentials, social connection and wellbeing support, and employment and education opportunities.
Importantly, our work doesn’t just bring about change for those facing homelessness, but it also strengthens the resilience and capacity of local communities by raising awareness and plugging funding gaps for grassroot services.

How can individuals, businesses, or other organisations get involved or support the work of StreetSmart?
We take a collaborative approach to responding to homelessness and
work alongside many corporates, businesses, and organisations that help us scale the impact of our work. Cafes and restaurants can be involved through our CafeSmart and DineSmart campaigns, and corporations can support our work through sponsoring a current project, hosting a fundraiser, or being involved in monthly giving.

Could you share a success story of someone who has benefited from StreetSmart's programs?
“19 year old Alex* became homeless after a family breakdown and spent the first 6 months couch surfing with friends. This put pressure on friendships and after a while, Alex was forced into sleeping rough and staying in unsafe boarding houses.
When a homelessness support service helped Alex access transitional housing, they had little to their name beside a small bag of belongings.
Disconnected from family and support, Alex couldn’t afford all the basic household items. Being able to buy things like a kettle, soap, pillows and bedding and washing machine helped Alex finally feel safe and stable in their new home.”
* Alex (name changed) was supported by one of StreetSmart’s community partners in Sydney, NSW.

The team at StreetSmart kindly shared some images of ways they have been able to assist in the past.

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