Pulse Session 2022: 50 Lives 50 Homes Project Final Report

Our last Pulse Meeting held on Wednesday, 8 June, we examined the recommendations based on the long-term research findings in the final evaluation report of the 50 Lives 50 Homes Project “Zero Project: A Housing First Response to Ending Homelessness in Perth”.


Acting Executive Officer for the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance) John Berger hosted the session and ran through several updates from across the WA homelessness sector.


The Alliance


John announced the Alliance appointed its Steering Group. The following people make up the new Steering Group:- Allan Connolly, Stefaan Bruce-Truglio, Philippa Boldy, Paul Flatau, Michael Piu, Mark Slattery, Chrissie Smith, Leah Watkins, Michelle Mackenzie, Jacqui Clay. There are two vacancies in the LE Youth and Regional role.


Recently in conjunction with Shelter WA, the Alliance launched the Housing First – Development Collection website. It showcases Australian and international Housing First programs, demonstrating housing developments that support Housing First. The intention is to provide a starting point for service providers, policy-makers, Community Housing Providers and housing developers eager to consider developing housing options. This will act as a guide and reference point that will support the Housing First model.


The Centre for Social Impact UWA (CSI UWA) has been contracted to update the Ending Homelessness in Western Australia report and an Outcomes Measurement and Evaluation Framework: Dashboard. In addition, agencies and people have been invited to participate in an evaluation hub with a meeting scheduled soon.


Zero Project WA


Nghia Luong, the Senior Community Worker - Data Lead, from the project articulated the April 2022 data from the five different By-Name lists across Western Australia.


“The numbers are on a steady downward trend (in Perth),” said Nghia. “The feedback we get from our outreach workers in the colder months … they see fewer people in the city.”


In Geraldton the Zero Project organised a Connect ID to allow rough sleepers the opportunity to gain identification documents, financial assistance, and housing services in one place.


You can view the progress for Perth, Fremantle and surrounds and Bunbury, Geraldton, Mandurah and Rockingham here.


Ruah Drop-in Centre


Michelle Twigger, Service Lead Housing and Homeless at Ruah Community Services gave an update on its application to relocate its drop-in centre for homeless people on Shenton Street in Northbridge which City of Perth councillors voted unanimously to deny.


Given the prominence of the application in local media Ms Twigger felt it was timely to update everyone about what was happening with The Ruah Centre. The result was “unexpected”, but Ruah intends to continue operating and providing support in whatever ways it can.


“We have been supported by a number of organisations who are looking to house us while we take the matter to the next level,” she said. “I want to reassure everybody that the centre intends to endure. We are hoping to move in mid-July and we will keep you posted on how we will continue these services.”


50 Lives 50 Homes: A Housing First Response to Ending Homelessness


Shannen Vallesi is a Research Associate at the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia who co-wrote the final evaluation report of the 50 Lives 50 Homes program (50 Lives).


50 Lives commenced in late-2015 and was the first Housing First program in Western Australia. It was a collaborative program that aimed to house and support 50 of the most vulnerable chronic rough sleepers in Perth, a goal that was achieved in June 2017.


Watch the video presentation.

This fourth, and final, 50 Lives evaluation report provides an in-depth analysis of the housing, health and justice outcomes of individuals who were supported through the program, and reflects on some of the broader highlights and key learnings from 50 Lives over the past six years. As with preceding 50 Lives reports, quantitative data, including hospital records, primary health records, WA Police records, and housing data are complemented by case studies and personal insights from key stakeholders.


In her presentation Shannen looked at the unique long-term data outcomes.


Read the report here.


View Shannen Vallesi's slide presentation.

The participants then broke up into three groups (Health, Housing & Support) to consider the recommendations and develop a range of actions to progress these recommendations. These suggested actions were then reported back to the bigger group and will be progressed through the Alliance and CSI UWA.