At the WA Alliance to End Homelessness Pulse Meeting on 10 April, attendees contributed to discussions and workshopping of ideas related to initiatives including ‘By-Name Lists’, the Rough Sleepers Action Plan, and providing better employment pathways for those who are homeless.
The By-Name List concept takes quite a lot of explanation, and is linked to the broader approach of ‘Advance to Zero’ (https://aaeh.org.au/atoz). To bring meeting attendees up to speed, WAAEH Project Facilitator Claire Dodd shared updates and learning from the Perth-Fremantle ‘Community Team’ who are facilitating the development of this approach in WA, after coming together at a 2-day Action Lab in February. One of the defining components of the Advance to Zero approach is real-time data, collated in a By-Name List, which supports a more coordinated response to rough sleeping. A strong By-Name List can be used to estimate future rates of homelessness, including inflow and outflow.
The aim of this approach is reaching ‘functional zero’ where the average capacity of your housing system is greater than the existing need, and you can prove that with data. An Advance to Zero approach, supported by By-Name Lists, will result in major service improvements through smarter triage and coordination, as well as identifying gaps and flaws in the system that can be addressed quickly and effectively. The approach is not without its challenges, which include consent and privacy considerations, and ensuring quality of data. Members of the Perth-Fremantle Community Team, including Leah Watkins (50 Lives 50 Homes), Lisette Kaleveld (Centre for Social Impact UWA), and Gayle Mitchell (UnitingCare West) facilitated discussions and activities around different parts of the approach for WA’s context.
Individuals learnt that a By-Name List was more than just collecting data, it serves to improve service design and coordination and ultimately end rough sleeping (or reach ‘functional zero’) in a particular area.
The Rough Sleepers Action Plan is one part of an overall Youth Cohort Action Plan being worked on closely between the WAAEH. The Plan’s objective is aligned to the WAAEH 10-Year Strategy; that by 2028 no one will experience homelessness for more than five nights without being offered suitable accommodation and support. The activities at the Pulse Meeting were facilitated by Centre for Social Impact UWA’s Strategic Design Manager Katie Stubley, and participants were encouraged to visualise people’s journeys into rough sleeping. This encouraged a conversation around the current reality of issues and how they can be addressed through the Action Plan.
The Employment Pathways discussion was led by Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) CEO Taryn Harvey.
WAAMH has been looking at a model used for people who have multiple barriers to employment. From a mental health point of view, employment can be critical to recovery. It can build self-esteem, self-understanding and motivation. People experiencing homelessness are likely to have multiple barriers to employment so improving and bringing together vocational and non-vocational services could provide better support.
Can you assist? Pulse meetings are an opportunity to contribute to planning and development, project ideas, and addressing key challenges in an open space co-working format.
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