PwC's trust donates $100,000 in grants to tackle homelessness

02 June 2021 3 min. read
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Twelve charitable programs aimed at supporting marginalised people subject to homelessness have received grants from PwC Australia’s Foundation Trust.

PwC Australia’s Foundation Trust – a charitable trust funded by donations from PwC partners and staff – has awarded grants totalling close to $110,000 to the twelve organisations tackling homelessness in Australia. The grants come as homelessness reaches crisis point across the country due to spiking rents and the withdrawal of pandemic aid, while not-for-profits have also had to contend with a serious decline in donations and volunteer staffing over the past year.

“We are delighted to be able to contribute to some very inspiring organisations who are supporting our communities,” said PwC’s Social Impact Partner and Foundation Trust board member Rosalie Wilkie, a 30-year veteran with the firm. “As a firm we share a vision to help solve important social problems, like homelessness, and through the PwC Foundation Trust we are investing in initiatives that are working to prevent or reduce homelessness in Australia.”

PwC's trust donates $100,000 in grants to tackle homelessness

According to the trust, the grants were awarded to help develop initiatives focused on supporting members of the community who are disproportionately affected by homelessness – with the pandemic response exacerbating many of the issues faced by these groups – including older women and women escaping domestic violence, at-risk youth, LGBT-identifying people, those belonging to First Nations’ communities, and people with complex problems.

This year’s recipients included Barnardos Australia, Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Habitat for Humanity SA, Melbourne City Mission, Open Doors Youth Service, StreetWork Australia, St Vincent de Paul in NSW and WA, The Constellation Project, and YWCA Canberra. In addition, Documentary Australia Foundation and The Property Industry Foundation were each awarded secondary grants, the program extended due to the high number and quality of applicants.

As one example, YWCA Canberra’s YHomes program will provide support to older women on low incomes and women with children escaping domestic violence through ten affordable housing units suitable for longer term accommodation. The grant funding will be directed towards the creation of a communal garden that will be accessible to all tenants, producing an inclusive space for residents to meet with family and friends and increasing their connections to the community.

Helen Banu, the CEO of StreetWork Australia, which through its Finding Home program supports youth aged between 11-18 in Sydney’s north, said; “PwC Foundation’s grant couldn’t have come at a better time and we are sincerely grateful for the support. We’re experiencing sharp increases in referrals and urgently need funding to minimise any wait time. Young people facing homelessness rely on StreetWork to act swiftly to secure their safety and well-being.”

Established in 2003, PwC Foundation Trust has since then handed out more than $11 million in matched employee donations to charities and disaster relief efforts, including $3.3 million last year alone – with close to a third of that figure directed toward addressing long and short-term homelessness.

Donations included $125,000 in emergency relief in response to the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires and $40,000 to support people experiencing homelessness throughout Covid-19.