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Media Statement: WA Zero Project extended with support from State Government welcomed

The Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (AAEH) have welcomed the ongoing financial support from the State Government to maintain the successful WA Zero Project, which is already operating in the Perth metropolitan, Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton communities.

AAEH CEO David Pearson said the extended funding arrangement would ensure the continued success of the WA Zero Project which uses a By Name List in each community to understand a real time picture of homelessness.

“In Australia we don’t measure how much homelessness there is, there’s a census every five years, which is a point of time snapshot but that’s not good enough,” he said.

“Through the Advance to Zero methodology, and the By Name Lists, we can see a real time picture of what’s going on in terms of the names and the needs of people experiencing homelessness in particular communities, and this is fundamentally one of the biggest drivers of the change we can make to ensure homelessness becomes rare, brief and a one time occurrence.”

Shelter WA CEO Kath Snell also welcomed the announcement that the WA community housing sector would receive continued funding from the WA Government to support the growth of community housing.

“It is fantastic to see investment in the very successful Supportive Landlord Model. Shelter WA consulted widely with supportive landlords to understand their needs to deliver better services for their tenants and their wellbeing, ” she said.

“This package is a good start when looking at the overall picture of housing and homelessness and the $20.7 million from today's funding package will go a long way to achieving our collective goal of ending homelessness in WA.”

Mr Pearson said the announcement demonstrated that with the community and government working together, through a coordinated approach, we can end homelessness faster in WA.

“This announcement has been possible because of the collaborative work led by Ruah Community Services over the last seven years with many community service partners, philanthropic funders and government. It builds on the success of the Zero Project (former 50 Lives 50 Homes) which has seen the development of a nation leading data dashboard that lets the community know in close to real time the number of people experiencing homelessness in the communities involved with the Zero Project.

“This comprehensive package of reforms is an important combination of investing in meeting the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness, while also supporting and building long term structures to better prevent, reduce and end homelessness.

“There’s still a housing crisis, but this a really important step in relation to chronic rough sleeping, this will really help.”

“Ending homelessness is possible and this package is an important step in that direction.”

Mr Pearson said the Advance to Zero methodology used by the WA Zero Project has ended homelessness in 14 communities in the US and two in Canada.

“We know this works and having the support of the WA State Government and working in partnership with them, means we will reach zero homelessness here too,” he said.


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