Shepparton Homelessness Forum

Anti Poverty Week

The Anti-Poverty Week Working Party will bring together experts from Shepparton’s frontline agencies who are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people in our community. Shepparton Interfaith Network is a partner in this forum.


Every week dozens of families are forced to access homelessness services in the Shepparton region. Many of these families are struggling to find stable, safe accommodation. Amongst them are vulnerable children and young people who are sleeping on floors and couches, in caravan parks or cheap motels while their parents search desperately for somewhere to call home. Often these children miss school, have no chance of being involved in after-school sport or activities and survive on tiny rations handed out to their parents.

These children are the invisible homeless of our community – the silent sufferers who face it tough every day because of circumstances beyond their control. It may be because of family violence, drug and alcohol issues, gambling, financial difficulty or it may be because of a death of a parent or a separation, a job loss or illness or natural disaster – for many different reasons – all of these children in our community have found themselves without a home of their own. It could be your grandchild, cousin, friend, neighbour – it’s happening in every part of our community.

This is why a group of Shepparton region agency workers who deal with families every day who are homeless or at risk of being without a home have formed a Working Party to examine the root causes of homelessness and hardship in our community and work towards community solutions.

Participation by Shepparton Interfaith Network

The Anti-Poverty Week Working Party brings together experts from Shepparton’s frontline agencies who are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people in our community. Shepparton Interfaith Network members are at the forefront of this forum, promoting and providing resources for this event. Frank Purcell, President of Shepparton Interfaith Network is one of the key organisers. Camerun Abanoi, resource worker for Shepparton Interfaith Network, is undertaking a key role in promoting this event. Other members of the Interfaith Network will also be participating.

The Working Party will deliver a regional Housing and Homelessness Forum on Wednesday October 16th in Shepparton to address the issues facing our agencies and our vulnerable families.

The Rev Paul Turton from Melbourne City Mission will deliver a keynote address at the forum documenting his extensive work with individuals facing homelessness and his work with the most vulnerable young people in our communities. Rev Turton is now the Manager for the highly acclaimed Detour Program – an innovative, early intervention program for youth which has been delivering outstanding results by permanently diverting young people away from homelessness and actively reconnecting them back with their families, communities, social networks and study and work options.

The Detour Program may soon be rolled out across Victoria, with Shepparton and Sunshine already its flagship success stories with more than 70 young people diverted permanently from homelessness and intensively coached to stabilise their lives and link them to community support, education or employment. The Detour Program works in partnership with Kids Under Cover, building studios for young people to live in and stay connected with their families.

Rev Turton will be joined at the forum by a host of other experts including a state representative from the Council to Homeless Persons as well as the Victorian Council of Social Services.

The forum will be held on Wednesday October 16th at Wesley Hall in Maude St, Shepparton beginning at 10am. For further information please contact Working Party members Frank Purcell on 0427828613, Cameron Albanoi on 0432688751 or Elisabeth Dunne on 0417200821.


More information and resources for Anti-Poverty Week may be found here

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