In November 2019, the Premier and the Minister for Community Services launched All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020–2030 (the Strategy). The Strategy seeks to introduce a Housing First approach to homelessness that prioritises getting people into permanent housing with flexible and tailored supports to follow. This is seen as a key foundation of the system change needed to end chronic homelessness.
There are five core principles of Housing First:
- Immediate access to permanent housing with no housing readiness requirements
- Consumer choice and self-determination
- Recovery orientation
- Individualised and client-driven supports
- Social and community integration.
Alongside the launch of the Strategy, funding of $34.5million was announced to deliver the Housing First Homelessness Initiative. The Housing First Homelessness Initiative is a discrete initiative under the Strategy that will provide accommodation and wrap around support to people sleeping rough in the Perth Metropolitan Area, Rockingham/Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton.
The Housing First Homelessness Initiative has been broken down into four discrete components:
- The Housing First System Coordinator
- The Housing First Support Services – Metropolitan and Regional
- The Finding Home Program
- An Evaluation of the Housing First Homelessness Initiative.
The Housing First System Coordinator
The Housing First System Coordinator is responsible for the overall coordination of the HFHI across the Identified Locations. The Housing First System Coordinator will develop information sharing protocols to ensure information is shared in a timely manner and includes the development of complimentary protocols to aid in service delivery.
The Housing First Support Services
The Housing First Support Services (HFSS) seek to ensure people who are sleeping rough are linked into appropriate services that will help them find and maintain suitable accommodation. The HFSS will work closely with the Housing First System Coordinator and the Finding Home Program to ensure that appropriate accommodation is sought, and the right support services are in place to help people maintain their accommodation and do not cycle back into homelessness.
The Finding Home Program
The Finding Home Program is a component of the HFHI that will aim to provide suitable and flexible accommodation options for people who have been sleeping rough in the Identified Locations. The Finding Home Program will work closely with the Housing First System Coordinator and the Housing First Support Service to identify and allocate appropriate accommodation options to people engaged in the HFHI.