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Pulse Session 2022: Online Homelessness Services Portal

Our second Pulse Meeting in 2022 was held on Wednesday, 13 April entirely online. It was pleasing to see the number of people who joined us to hear about the range of initiatives that are emerging within the homelessness system. We encourage you to get abreast of these developments by registering for our regular Pulse Meetings which will be held at 9.30am every second Wednesday of the month.

The main presentation of the session focused on the Online Homelessness Services Portal from the Department of Communities to make it easier for people who are experiencing homelessness to access accommodation and other services.

In addition to this several other updates were delivered from across the WA homelessness sector.

Zero Project WA

Nghia Luong, the Senior Community Worker - Data Lead, provided an overview of the February 2022 data from the five different By-Name lists across Western Australia.

A question and discussion was raised about how family units are counted due to low numbers in the city. “I suspect it’s the way rough sleeping occurs as opposed to the regions – it is very different,” Nghia said. “The city will have families in cars which are difficult for an outreach worker to count and police and rangers tend to move them on quickly making it difficult for an outreach worker to connect and record. These issues don’t apply to the regions as much.” Nghia will table these thoughts at the next outreach meeting.

You can view the Perth, Fremantle and surrounds data here. You can also see the By-Name lists for Bunbury, Geraldton, Mandurah and Rockingham.

Elise Haddleton, Community Impact Officer, gave a general overview of work happening across the Zero Project. This included:

  • In Geraldton a living (Kumu) map of connections between services within the homeless sector is being developed similar to this one for Midland.

  • The establishment of working groups to enhance the work already done by the Midland Alliance to End Homelessness.

  • Bunbury is in the process of recruiting a new Community Impact Officer.

Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub

Erika Everitt is a Senior Project Officer at Shelter WA and is on secondment from the City of Joondalup. She presented her work with the Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub.

Shelter WA was awarded a Strengthening and Adapting Organisations Grant from Lotterywest to undertake the Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub Project (the Project) in partnership with the WA Local Government Association and Local Government Professionals WA. The centrepiece is the establishment of an online homelessness resource (a Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub) for local governments to share information and to inform evidence-based homelessness responses that respond to community needs. The aim of providing these resources is to better equip local government across WA to respond to homelessness at a local level in a strategic way.

Watch the video presentation.

You can view the Local Government Knowledge Hub page here.

Journey to Home Project

Dr Gemma Crawford a Senior Lecturer of Health Promotion, Public Health at Curtin University presented the work of the Journey to Home Project which is exploring the intersections between housing, migration and health in Western Australia.

The Project recognises when many of the state-based homelessness strategies began coming out terms such as “migration” or “migrant” or “culturally and linguistically diverse” (CALD) are almost “wholly missing” from these documents. Gemma explained there was a lot of interest as to why this was the case. “It was concerning to us as we know around about 13 per cent of people in WA who reported accessing homelessness services in the 2016 census, were born overseas,” she said. “WA has the highest number of people born overseas in Australia, so we were interested as to why migrants from CALD backgrounds were almost invisible in health policy more broadly and specifically housing policy.”

The Journey to Home Team has launched three research summaries of key project components. These summaries cover the project rationale, the project governance model and a scoping review.

The Project team would also like to hear from people from diverse cultural and linguistic background with experience of housing stress and/or homelessness for one-on-one interviews with their research team.

View Gemma’s slide presentation.

You can view the Journey to Home Project page here.

United Way WA

Kath Snell the CEO of United Way WA gave three updates.

Following on from Erika’s presentation Kath noted that the City of Bayswater will open a Community Resource Hub operating out of Morley Library as a priority response to support people who are or at risk of homelessness. The program is identified within the City of Bayswater's Local Homelessness Strategy 2021 – 2025.

The Re-Engaging in Community program run by United Way WA is coming to an end in August 2022. Sadly, further funding has not been secured. The final drive for participants is happening now. Details here.

St Patrick's Community Support Centre and Foundation Housing along with United Way WA are looking for funding opportunities to be able to deliver COVID-19 care packs to those who need to isolate but don’t have access to food. It seems everyone knows it is something which is needed but nobody wants to pay for it. Please contact Kath if you have any ideas on how it can be funded.

Youth Homelessness Forum

Stefaan Bruce-Truglio is the Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer at the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA). Stefaan gave an update on several pieces of work since the sector came together at the Youth Homelessness Forum in November last year.

YACWA is continuing to have conversations with the Department of Communities to try and implement a co-design process with young people and youth services to develop a Western Australian Housing First for Youth model. YACWA sees the model as providing a targeted approach to systemic reform in the youth homelessness space rather than being just a broader reform.

The Youth Homelessness Advisory Council (YHAC), the WA youth-led advocacy group, comprised of ten young people with lived experience of homelessness has received fresh funding for three years from the Sisters of St John of God. The new funding commences in May and key outcomes include policy development, service safaris and professional development opportunities.

Online Homelessness Services Portal

Nina Ulyett is the Implementation Lead for this project at Anglicare WA. She presented an overview of the Online Homelessness Services Portal and the many opportunities available to participate.

As part of All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030, the Department of Communities is developing an Online Homelessness Services Portal that will make it easier for people who are experiencing homelessness to access accommodation and other services in Western Australia.

Technical development of the Portal will be led by Infoxchange, working in partnership with Anglicare WA, the Innovation Unit and Anthologie. The Consortium complements a strong core IT platform, with existing knowledge of the homelessness services sector, a clear understanding of the vision for a No Wrong Door approach to service delivery and human-centred digital design expertise.

As part of the consortium, Anglicare WA is leading stakeholder engagement.

Throughout the course of the project, over the next twelve months, a user led design approach – involving service providers and lived experience will be carried out. It will involve,

  • One-off workshops for broad sector and service providers.

  • Interviews and Observations.

  • An ongoing Design Team and Lived Experience Advisory Group will continue to guide the project over the duration.

The launch of the portal is expected in April 2023.

Interested in joining a workshop? Contact

View Nina's slide presentation.

Watch the video presentation.


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