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Salvation Army Services

This research has been undertaken to provide a snapshot of Salvation Army homelessness services from anational perspective. The statistical snapshot describes the extent of Salvation Army homelessness service delivery and provides a profile of client demographics.

For the very first time, this research brings together homelessness service data for The Salvation Army across Australia. Using the six-month reference period from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012 [2], this research compiles macro client data from services funded as part of Commonwealth/State Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) [3] with other Salvation Army homelessness services (which are not included in the SHS reporting framework [4]). The research also draws on summary financial data to quantify total revenue invested in Salvation Army homelessness services from both Salvation Army and government sources. For the purposes of this research, client and service data is for the six-month period 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012, while financial data is for the full financial year 2012-2013 [5].

Summary

The national summary of Salvation Army homelessness services brings together:

  • A summary of the total number and distribution of Salvation Army homelessness services nationally (and by state/territory).
  • A national snapshot of general homelessness services, services targeting women (including women with children) and of services targeting youth.
  • A summary of client data and demographic information.
  • A summary of financial data (including the proportions of Salvation Army and government revenue).
  • Comparisons of Salvation Army SHS client data with national data reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) [6].

Importantly, this research will inform subsequent investigation into the performance and effectiveness of Salvation Army homelessness services. The findings will also inform improvements in data collection, accuracy, consistency and quality to support future enhancements of service delivery and client outcomes.

The Salvation Army Service and Mission Information System (SAMIS) [7] is a fundamental component of the data collected for this research. SAMIS is unique within homelessness services and provides a customised, in-depth and unique data collection and reporting service for The Salvation Army on a national basis.

Defining Salvation Army Homelessness Services

The term homelessness has been subject to contested and nuanced interpretations and defining criteria [8]. With nearly 1,000 individual Salvation Army social program activities and services operating through dozens of service hubs, networks and activity centres across Australia, criteria was developed to identify homelessness services for inclusion in this research.

A service has been deemed a homelessness service for inclusion in this research if it:

  • Submits its client data to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) as part of the national SHS collection; or
  • Is a service listed in The Salvation Army SAMIS database under internal service streams ‘Homelessness – Support and Accommodation’, ‘Homelessness – Youth’ or ‘Domestic Violence’ and confirmed as such through local management; or
  • Is a service listed in The Salvation Army financial system[9] as ‘Homelessness and Domestic Violence’ and confirmed as such through local management; or
  • Is a service listed in either The Salvation Army SAMIS database or the financial system that is outside of the criteria outlined above, but indicates it may be a homelessness service by its service name or other attributes and is then confirmed as such through local management.

After identification of homelessness services, each service was further categorised as general homelessness, women’s or youth homelessness [10].

Note: As significant overlap exists across these data sets, services that meet more than one of the above criteria are counted only once.

[2] See data note 2.
[3] See data note 3.
[4] See data note 4.
[5] See data note 5.
[6] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist homelessness services July – December 2012. Available: www.aihw.gov.au
Also see data notes 6.
[7] See data note 7.
[8] Australian Bureau of Statistics. A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012.
Available: http://www.abs.gov.au
[9] See data note 8.
[1
0] See data note 9.