After conducting a review of the success and work of the WAAEH (Alliance) by the Facilitating Group, Alliance partners and supporters, it was agreed to move into a new phase of the Alliance as it seeks to guide and oversee the implementation of its 10-Year Vision and Strategy to #EndHomelessness.
The Facilitating Group has changed to have a broader representation and has now become the Collaborative Lead Group. Last year a call for nominations was made through an Expression of Interest process culminating in this meeting of over 20 interested individuals.
Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness Executive Officer John Berger summed up the situation for the room.
“We have come to the point where we have said we need to open it up,” he explained. “The Alliance has always sought to be inclusive and about the big picture - how we can end homelessness across Western Australia and what it will take to achieve this. I am really pleased many of you have put up your hand to say you want to be a part of this."
At this stage each participant was invited to explain their motivation for wanting to be on the Alliance and key elements which needed fixing within the complex ecosystem of homelessness. A number of presentations were then given to help provide the ‘state of play’ within the system to allow participants to focus on those elements that have not been addressed to date.
Using this information, the second half of the session focused on encouraging the groups to brainstorm on which elements of the system require some focus for us to achieve our 10-Year Vision. Once identified, participants were asked to prioritise these into projects which the Alliance Collaborative Lead Group will need to progress.
“We can only manage what we can with the resources around the room and the people that we have,” said Mr Berger.
At the end of the session the main priorities from each group were recorded and articulated to the group. Some of the priorities identified included:
- Holding the Vision and continuing to shift the narrative is a big lever the group can pull and capitalise on. A story was shared about how a person experiencing homelessness noticed originally when sleeping rough they would have “cans thrown at them” but now “loaves of bread are given to him”. The Alliance can build on this momentum to push forward in changing community attitudes.
- Housing supply goes through everything. It is a fundamental element and we need to support all the work being done in this area. A comment was made that the Alliance needs to “keep the accelerator on” in this area.
- Other programs of work including:- Family and Domestic Violence; Youth Action Plan; and Regional Action Plans are all critical. Some of this will build on existing efforts while in some cases this is formative and requires a level of collaboration and alignment.
- There was also acknowledgement for strengthening the “voice of lived experience” by taking direct action to support the development of a Council for Lived Experience.
The Collaborative Lead Group participants identified which groups they wished to join. A summary of the priorities has now been circulated along with the nominated names. Each group will organise to meet and develop a more detailed action plan.
The group will meet monthly to report back on progress and to share system updates to ensure we are aligned and working together towards our ultimate Vision and goal of ending homelessness!