Dunlea Centre
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Communities, Human Rights

NFP Calls For More ‘Housing First’


Tuesday, 8th November 2016 at 11:37 am
Ellie Cooper, Journalist
Mission Australia is calling for wider use of the housing first model, which has been demonstrated “time and time again” to successfully tackle homelessness.


Tuesday, 8th November 2016
at 11:37 am
Ellie Cooper, Journalist


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
NFP Calls For More ‘Housing First’
Tuesday, 8th November 2016 at 11:37 am

Mission Australia is calling for wider use of the housing first model, which has been demonstrated “time and time again” to successfully tackle homelessness.

The housing first approach prioritises providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent and affordable housing, followed by support services as needed.

Mission Australia timed its call with the federal and state housing ministers’ meeting on Friday, as well as with its five-year anniversary celebration of Common Ground Sydney.

Common Ground, or The Camperdown Project, provides housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness.

CEO of Mission Australia Catherine Yeomans told Pro Bono Australia News the project had a number of achievements over its five years, which pointed to the need for more housing first.

“Since opening we’ve had 108 people who were formerly long-term homeless [who] have been accommodated at Common Ground,” Yeomans said.

“And 93 per cent of those tenants with high needs have been able to sustain their tenancy for more than 12 months.

“These are people who could have spent well over a decade, sometimes decades of their life, rough sleeping or in really unstable and uncertain accommodation.”

A further 30 tenants with high needs have lived at Common Ground for more than four years.

Yeomans also said the additional support services, tailored to individual needs, were an important aspect of housing first.

“In Common Ground [residents] have found not only a home, but the wrap-around supports that they’ve needed to be able to address some of the underlying issues that they’ve been grappling with, whether it’s been undiagnosed mental health issues, other health issues, substance misuse,” she said.

“We’ve got a 24-seven concierge service, so there’s security provided so that people have safety in their home environment, there’s proactive, onsite tenancy and support services.

“We’ve got clinical consultation rooms, so sometimes people have had health needs unmet for many, many years, and exacerbated from living on the street.

“For people who have been sleeping rough for a long time, they’re not necessarily equipped with cooking skills or knowing how to budget economically for meals throughout the course of the week, so we’ve got a community kitchen there that helps build these skills.

“We’ve got an art room, a computer suite. We’ve also got a library, courtyard, barbeque area so people can engage with members of the community.”

At the celebrations, which included member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek, Common Ground residents shared their experience of housing first.

“A couple of residents spoke very powerfully about what it meant to be able to have a home, but also reengage with life, they’re volunteering, they’re reconnecting with family, we had two current residents talk about how meaningful it was for them to reconnect with their adult children,” Yeomans said.

“They’ve got hope and they’re regaining their independence and building their future.”  

She said housing first was “so important” and “impactful”, and should be used nationwide.

“Not only have we demonstrated it in other projects [and] Common Ground Sydney… but we know other providers who deliver housing-first models, here in Australia and overseas, can speak to the transformative nature of this way of working with people who’ve been experiencing homelessness,” she said.

“It starts with a home, so permanent accommodation that people can call home. But it’s not just about giving someone a key and a door and saying, ‘right there’s your home away you go’. It’s actually providing the wrap-around supports that people need as well – that’s really the power in the housing-first model.”  

Mission Australia’s advocacy for housing first also coincided with other homelessness organisations calling for an extension of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, which is due to expire in July 2017.

The federal government contributes $115 million annually to the agreement, matched by state and territory jurisdictions, which funds 180 specialist homelessness services nationally.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One Comment

  • Louisa Reid says:

    Excellent story Ellie! I’ve been into the Common Ground in Brisbane for the choir I belong to. Sometimes I wish I lived there!

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Adelaide Launches Online Tool Tracking Rough Sleeping Numbers

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th August 2018 at 9:21 am

New Research Finds Many Fear Threat Of Homelessness

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 8th August 2018 at 1:42 pm

Giving Dignity to People Experiencing Homelessness

Luke Michael

Monday, 6th August 2018 at 8:26 am

Homelessness Leaving Young Australians Fearful of ‘Losing’ Future

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 1st August 2018 at 3:07 pm

POPULAR

Vinnies CEO Resigns to ‘Fight Inequality Within Parliament’

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 21st August 2018 at 8:31 am

Coordinated Care at Risk Under Marketisation of the NDIS

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th August 2018 at 8:20 am

New NDIS Quarterly Report Revives Call to Lift NDIA Staff Cap

Luke Michael

Thursday, 16th August 2018 at 8:44 am

Social Impact Investment to Break the Cycle of Homelessness

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 17th August 2018 at 5:06 pm

Dunlea Centre
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!