Housing Trial Proves Benefits of Early Intervention
10 September 2013 at 10:38 am
Significant housing outcomes have been achieved according to an assessment of a Melbourne-based service delivery trial between State and Federal Government departments and HomeGround Services.
Under the 360 Degree Integrated Homelessness Service Offer Trial housing, income and employment support services were offered to people who identified as homeless or at risk of homelessness. The trial combined the efforts of a HomeGround worker, DHS (Victorian) Housing Service Officers and Centrelink staff.
HomeGround CEO Heather Holst said an independent evaluation of the trial, which focused on early intervention in assisting people maintain or establish housing and access relevant support services, found it had considerable success in achieving its goals.
“The evaluation confirms that providing Centrelink and DHS staff with the right information, tools and referral pathways allows them to identify people at risk of homelessness and to ultimately help those people with timely access to housing assistance,” Dr Holst said.
Dr Holst said the co-location of the core partner agencies (HomeGround, DHS and Centrelink) offered a promising model that could be applied state-wide and nationally.
“This trial shows that the combined efforts and expertise of the partners has produced great results for clients that would have been difficult for any of the agencies to provide in isolation,” she said.
“This model allowed people to access streamlined referral processes, multiple services at one site and a coordinated approach by a team of professionals working together to achieve the best outcomes for clients.”
A quantitative analysis of service records for 331 clients who accessed the service since its inception in January 2012 revealed:
- Prevention of housing breakdown was achieved with 78 per cent of clients at risk of homelessness;
- 75 per cent of long-term housing established was through the private rental market;
- About 90 per cent of housing outcomes achieved were mainly or partly attributable to the trial;
- and, 46 per cent of referrals received early intervention assistance.