The Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance), and Ruah came together at a recent Pulse Meeting to explain how we will work together within the Zero Project.
In front of over 50 people, Zero Project Manager Leah Watkins delivered an introduction explaining the approach of the Zero Project which uses the Advance to Zero methodology (known as Built for Zero in America) and how it links to the By Name List and Housing First approach to end homelessness. The Zero Project supersedes the 50 Lives 50 Homes Project.
There are several areas where the Zero Project links into the Alliance’s Strategy and the Department of Communities Homelessness Strategy.
• Rough Sleeping
Both the State Government’s All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia's 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020–2030 (the Strategy) and the Alliance’s The Ten-Year Strategy to End Homelessness in Western Australia both contain a priority statement on rough sleeping.
Rough sleeping (including chronic homelessness) is the type of homelessness which has the most impact and damage on a persons’ wellbeing. It impinges on mental health, safety, diet, and many other issues and for this reason is identified as a priority.
The Zero Project will help communities know by name who is experiencing homelessness so that people will not be overlooked and forgotten. This is done by collating comprehensive, real-time, person-specific data through a By-Name List.
• Systems Change/Sector Mapping
The Alliance in collaboration with an improvement team will identify where particular opportunities are within the homelessness sector to reduce the inflow into homelessness or increase the outflow out of homelessness based on data collected from a By-Name List.
Mapping exercise work on individual services and across the sector will help define strengths and weaknesses within the system and point towards improvement projects to make the system be more effective and impact on the numbers of people experiencing homelessness. The Zero Project have already road tested the methodology with Uniting WA’s Beds for Change team.
This work will assist any homelessness group or service to identify what their role is and how they can align their work towards getting people on the By-Name List into housing as quickly as possible.
The Alliance and the Zero Project will act as a resource to help the community to actively end homelessness and to work as a system. As the By-Name list data develops a better picture of what is working and where the gaps are within the homelessness system, there needs to be continual advocacy on addressing those shortfalls within the system. This advocacy work will be led by the Alliance.
To assist groups, the Zero Project can act as a resource to provide data packs accumulated from the detail collected in the By-Name List. For example, one-off data packs can be arranged to focus on areas such as youth, Aboriginal and over 55s.
After the presentation concluded participants broke up into groups to hear more about specific parts of the Zero Project which included mapping exercises, the By-Name List, future training, lived experience and the ‘My Home’ project.