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DineSmart and Help the Homeless

We think this is a great initiative - StreetSmart has kicked off its 10th DineSmart campaign with Australia’s leading restaurants to put a stop to homelessness. The award-winning not-for-profit organisation is calling on diners to participate in DineSmart, which runs from November 12 to Christmas Eve. Diners are asked to pay an extra $2 on their table bill and every dollar raised goes directly to local charities assisting the homeless.

In 10 years over 400 restaurants have taken part, raising more $2 million for 491 grassroots projects. A million tables of diners have contributed to this innovative campaign over the past decade.

StreetSmart Founder Adam Robinson brought DineSmart to Australia from the UK in 2003 and has guided it to a national campaign, which was this year recognised by the Federal Government for its impact on the fight against homelessness. 

“StreetSmart is unique because we give the money to grass-roots agencies and charities who are at the coalface doing really critical work assisting the homeless and have little or no capacity for fundraising themselves,” Adam says.

“They use the money efficiently and it really makes a difference, from new sheets for beds at a refuge, regular meals at shelters, to playground equipment for children at a women’s refuge,” he says.

Over the 10 years many of Australia’s leading restaurateurs have participated in the campaign from day one. These include Victorians Simon Denton (Isakaya Den), Adam Cash (Union Dining), and Martin Pirc (Punch Lane).

In NSW Sam Christie (Longrain), Christine Manfield (Universal) and Janna Szangolies from Urban Purveyors, and in Brisbane Andrew Buchannan (Urbane) and Julian D'Souza (Mecca Bah) have championed StreetSmart for many years. 

In 2012 more than 170 restaurants have joined the campaign so far and the aim is to raise over $352,000 – last year’s record.

“The Federal Government’s target to halve homelessness by 2020 can only happen if the wider community can make a contribution,” Adam says.

“We are very grateful to the support of our restaurateurs and their loyal diners who are really making a difference to many of the 105,000 people who are homeless in Australia this Christmas,” he says.

“Homelessness can affect anyone and it can often be prevented. People who are homeless come from all age groups and include women and men and people from all cultural backgrounds.”

For details about how to find a DineSmart restaurant go to


StreetSmart is a unique bridge between the community and small, grassroots agencies that assist people experiencing homelessness. It supports critical services and emergency aid as well as projects that promote social inclusion, empowerment and sustainable change for people who are homeless. When money is raised from the public through fundraising events, 100 per cent of donations are distributed in the form of grants. To date StreetSmart has raised and distributed $2,020,000 to 491 grassroots projects.

Some of the projects DineSmart has funded in the past decade include: 

  • The Big Issue Street Socceroos project in Melbourne, which is now run at over 30 centres in Australia.
  • Choir of Hardknocks CD in 2007, which sold more than 100,000 copies. 
  • SecondBite in Melbourne, which collects and distributes surplus food from the Melbourne Markets provides more than 200,000 meals a year. 
  • SunnyKids QLD childcare for homeless women who are seeking professional services.

StreetSmart was recognised in the inaugural 2012 Federal Government National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards for outstanding commitment to addressing homelessness.