Homelessness Perceptions Study
Earlier this year the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance) and Shelter WA commissioned a Community Views on Homelessness in Western Australia perception survey. The survey was commissioned to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general public perception of homelessness and intends to provide a snapshot about what people understand, their perceptions and attitudes towards homelessness across the entire state.
Julia Zivanovic MBA from Knowledge Solutions, a local research body who conducted the survey and collated the results presented the draft findings and clarified any questions the group had as to the content of the results. Many in the group noted, very pleasingly, that the community had a better understanding of homelessness and what the solutions are than ever before. The survey report is still in draft form with the intention of finalising in the coming weeks. The final report can then be made public.
Housing First System Coordinator
The 50 Lives 50 Homes Manager at Ruah, Leah Watkins announced that Ruah had been appointed the Housing First System Coordinator for WA. The work being undertaken is an opportunity to build on the work of the 50 Lives 50 Homes and 20 Lives 20 Homes projects which really laid the foundations for a Housing First approach being adopted in key policy initiatives.
Titled the Zero Project it will have a geographic expansion to drive reductions in rough sleeping and chronic homelessness in Geraldton, Mandurah, Bunbury and Rockingham while also continuing and adapting the work in the metropolitan region. The Advance to Zero approach essentially moves from counting up the number of people being housed to counting down as the number of people sleeping roughly reduces.
It will also,
- Provide place-based coordination to help local service systems to work collaboratively so they can more effectively allocate housing and support resources.
- Manage the By Name List (BNL) for local communities to enable them to have a real time picture of how their service system is working and use it to drive evidence-based improvements that help reduce rough sleeping and chronic homelessness. The By Name List is a tool that enables organisations across the sector to quantify homelessness and track peoples journeys to enable the services to work collaboratively and reduce homelessness.
- Provide quality Housing First training to help services transform their work and adopt best practice approaches.
Leah highlighted how there will be plenty of cross-over between the Alliance and the work Ruah will be doing on the Zero Project. In particular there was a need to get a better understanding of who will play what role in a new system. Where the Alliance can assist is looking at bringing community services organisations together to examine how the current system works and supporting change to ensure that we achieve the outcome of ending homelessness. The aim is to break down the siloed approach and move towards a systems approach to ensure that service delivery matches local needs.
It is expected that this approach will use the BNL to look at the flows in and out of the homelessness and be reported onto a Dashboard Report which will then inform the systems changes that need to be implemented to reduce homelessness.