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2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards Finalist

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					2013 National Homelessness Services
Achievement Awards
Finalists
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The document must be attributed as the Department of Families, Housing, Community
Services and Indigenous Affairs 2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement
Awards Finalists booklet.

Contact email address: fahcsiafeedback@fahcsia.gov.au

Produced by: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

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Printed by: New Millenium Print
Contents
Minister’s message ............................................................................................................... 5
Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 6
Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by an organisation ............................ 7
   Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) through Sacred Heart Mission, VIC ............................. 7
   Wintringham Specialist Aged Care, VIC ............................................................................ 8
   Tierney House through St Vincent’s Health Network, NSW ............................................... 9
   Restart through Mission Australia and Melbourne Citymission, VIC ................................ 10
Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in, homelessness .............................. 11
   Samaritans Brokerage Support Service through the Samaritans Foundation, NSW ........ 11
   Detour Innovation Action project through Melbourne Citymission, Kids Under Cover and
   Uniting Care, VIC ............................................................................................................ 12
   HomeConnect through VincentCare, VIC ........................................................................ 13
Outstanding business or philanthropic commitment to addressing homelessness ............... 14
   Making Ends Meet through Anglicare WA ....................................................................... 14
   Donate Your Car Program through Kids Under Cover and Manheim, VIC ....................... 15
Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering services ........................................... 16
   Homeless to Home Healthcare Services through Micah Projects, Mater Health Services
   and partners, QLD ........................................................................................................... 16
   Common Ground through Mission Australia Housing and Inner City Coalition
   (Camperdown Support Services [CSS]), NSW ................................................................ 17
   Way2Home through St Vincent's Hospital and Neami Ltd, NSW ..................................... 18
   youth110 through youth110 partnership – Department for Communities and Social
   Inclusion (DCSI), St John's Youth Services, and Urban Communities, SA....................... 19
Excellence in addressing Indigenous homelessness ........................................................... 20
   The Watch House – Pick Up and Case Management project through Larrakia Nation
   Aboriginal Corporation, NT .............................................................................................. 20
   Community Services – Specialist Aboriginal Team through Wentworth Community
   Housing, NSW ................................................................................................................. 21
   Kurlana Tampawardli (New Houses on The Plains) through Uniting Communities, SA .... 22
Excellence in supporting pathways to employment or education ......................................... 23
   WorkNext Services – Education and Employment Program through Catherine House Inc,
   SA ................................................................................................................................... 23
   Help, Opportunities, Partnerships and Employment (HOPE) project through The ORS
   Group, NSW .................................................................................................................... 24
   McAuley Works through McAuley Community Services for Women, VIC ......................... 25
Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural or remote location................... 26
   Community Accommodation & Support Agency Inc (CASA), QLD................................... 26
   Housing Legal Clinic – city to country homeless persons' legal services through the
   Welfare Rights Centre SA Inc, SA ................................................................................... 27
   Western NSW Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) – Intensive Case Management Support
   for Single Men with Complex Needs, through Mission Australia, NSW ............................ 28
   The Bundaberg Housing and Homeless Forum, QLD ...................................................... 29
Highly commended services ............................................................................................... 30
   Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by an organisation ...................... 30
   Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in, homelessness. .......................... 30
   Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering services ........................................ 30
   Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural or remote location ............... 30
Judging Panel ..................................................................................................................... 31
   Professor Chris Chamberlain ........................................................................................... 31
   Lynne Evans.................................................................................................................... 31
   Arati Waldegrave ............................................................................................................. 31
Awards event entertainment................................................................................................ 33
   Master of Ceremonies – Dr Jonathon Welch AM ............................................................. 33
   The Choir of Hope and Inspiration ................................................................................... 33
Minister’s message
As a Government and as a nation, we are committed to halving the rate of homelessness by
2020 and this commitment is matched with an unprecedented $26 billion investment in
housing and homelessness services – but we can’t do it alone.

What makes this investment effective is the hard work of our partners in the community and
non-government sector and, of course, the incredible work of individuals.

The National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards recognise and promote
homelessness services in Australia and the efforts, quality, innovation and dedication of
everyone involved in assisting those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Across the seven award categories, 23 finalists were selected by an independent judging
panel. I’d like to congratulate all these finalists who have shown an outstanding commitment
to supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

The work that these organisations do every day and night shows that there is a pathway out
of homelessness for people who receive the right support at the right time.

While we are making progress in reducing the rate of people sleeping rough or in improvised
dwellings, far too many Australians still do not have a place to call home each night.

For children in particular, family homelessness is especially damaging and can lead to long-
term physical, mental and social problems.

Prevention of homelessness is the focus of much of our work. We want to avoid people
becoming homeless, provide a range of support that will help them through their crisis, and
assist in breaking the cycle of homelessness for them and their family.

The nominations for the 2013 Awards showcased amazing and innovative programs that are
helping people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to get their lives back on track.

In shining a light on programs that are making a real difference, it is my hope that these
programs, practices and approaches inspire services in other parts of the country.

I thank all of you who are working tirelessly to make a difference and help break the cycle of
homelessness. Your contributions are invaluable and will help to strengthen our community.
I look forward to continuing to work with you all into the future to continue tackling this
important issue.

Congratulations to all the finalists.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Housing and Homelessness
Introduction
The 2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards celebrate the way
organisations and services make a difference to the lives of people who are experiencing, or
at risk of, homelessness in our communities.

The Awards showcase excellence and innovation, as well as the strong and effective
partnerships between services, businesses, governments and the community, which is the
key to making progress towards addressing and preventing homelessness.

Nominations were received from homelessness service providers and partners across the
country in the seven award categories celebrating excellence, quality, innovation and
achievement:

      Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by an organisation
      Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in, homelessness
      Outstanding business or philanthropic commitment to addressing homelessness
      Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering services
      Excellence in addressing Indigenous homelessness
      Excellence in supporting pathways to employment or education
      Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural or remote location.


Special thanks to the independent judging panel of Professor Chris Chamberlain, Lynne
Evans and Arati Waldegrave. The panel was thrilled to see so many innovative and high
quality organisations and projects demonstrating an enormous effort to submit a nomination
for the Awards.

Importantly, the finalists also showed there is a pathway out of homelessness for people who
receive the right support at the right time, from services working together.

The Awards are coordinated by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), on behalf of the Australian Government.
Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by
an organisation
Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI)
through Sacred Heart Mission, VIC
Award Recipient

Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) is a Sacred Heart Mission initiated service model which
was piloted over three years between November 2009 and October 2012.

The project, the first of its kind in Australia, aimed to demonstrate that with the right
investment it is possible to end a person’s long term homelessness and that it makes
economic sense.

The J2SI pilot operated in Victoria, supporting 40 people who had been chronically homeless
and with complex needs.

The model is underpinned by intensive case management that respects and relies upon the
importance of a long-term relationship between the individual client and their case worker. In
many cases, this may be the most consistent, reliable and long-term relationship that some
individuals have experienced. According to Sacred Heart Mission, these relationships are
essential to positive change.

This case management relationship is the foundation for other support services including
establishing the extent of trauma and its impact, and delivering a structured therapeutic
response to support recovery. J2SI also delivers a Building Up and Developing Skills
program to facilitate reconnection with the broader community, including social and
economic participation.

Due to the complex needs of the J2SI participants, case workers worked closely with a
range of other services to meet the health, housing and other needs of people in the
program. Service coordination was key to people receiving the most effective interventions.

Evaluation of the first two years has shown 86 per cent of participants were suitably housed
compared to 55 per cent of people who were in the control group and not receiving J2SI
services but using those available in the existing service system.

Breakout point: An increase in workforce participation – and those looking for work – has
also been recorded as a positive outcome of J2SI.
Wintringham Specialist Aged Care, VIC
Finalist

Wintringham Specialist Aged Care supports older men and women who are homeless or at
risk of homelessness to ensure equal access to mainstream aged care and housing
services.

Wintringham provides accommodation through its 236 aged care beds in five facilities, as
well as managing 452 independent living units across metropolitan Melbourne and regional
Victoria. In addition to this, Wintringham also assists with maintaining tenancies, and
operating outreach and advocacy programs.

Wintringham continually seeks to demonstrate its guiding values of options, dignity and
rights through philanthropic partnerships, a focus on quality accommodation and meeting
individual complex needs.

Integration of services, initiatives to address disadvantage and a focus on working in
partnership with other service providers, saw Wintringham Specialist Aged Care
internationally recognised with a 2011 United Nations Human Settlements Program Habitat
Scroll of Honour as a committed and adaptable not-for-profit organisation.

Breakout point: Wintringham assists well over 1200 people every day in secure, supported
and appropriate accommodation, or in helping them find the homes they need.
Tierney House
through St Vincent’s Health Network, NSW
Finalist

St Vincent’s Hospital, in collaboration with the NSW Ministry of Health and the Curran
Foundation, established Tierney House, a 12-bed residential unit for those with non-acute
health issues experiencing homelessness. Tierney House officially opened in October 2012.

A key commitment under the St Vincent’s Hospital Homeless Health Framework, Tierney
House provides an option for those undergoing or recuperating from treatment, and provides
a gateway into health services. It is located in Darlinghurst, an area in Sydney with a large
homeless population.

Clients stay an average of 14 days during which St Vincent’s Hospital health services and
other clinical programs are available. Tierney House is effectively a hub facility to ensure the
right linkages for clients. A Tierney House Liaison Nurse is the care navigator between
clients and the hospital, GPs, primary healthcare providers and non-government
organisations.

While at Tierney House, clients can access services they may not readily use, such as
support programs focused on diabetes, healthy eating and exercise, mental health and
wellbeing support, and oral health.

Since opening, Tierney House accommodated 59 residents over three months and 65 per
cent reported ‘rough sleeping’ on admission, while the remainder used crisis accommodation
or couch surfing. On exit from Tierney House, more than 95 per cent of clients had an active
social housing application.

This service model contributes to the reduction in re-admission rates to the hospital post-
discharge by providing ongoing health support during a high risk period for patients.

Breakout point: Tierney House has addressed the needs of individuals experiencing
homelessness and requiring health treatment.
Restart
through Mission Australia and Melbourne Citymission, VIC
Finalist

The Restart program has a unique approach to addressing homelessness issues among
women with multiple and complex needs.

With more females than males using specialist homelessness services in Australia (AIHW,
2011), the Restart program is focused on breaking the cycle of homelessness by addressing
root causes of disadvantage. In particular, the program helps women to find stable
accommodation and explore employment and training options. Restart also helps women
address issues from domestic violence, financial crisis, gambling, substance abuse to
mental health conditions.

Delivered in partnership by Mission Australia and Melbourne Citymission, Restart offers
training modules in living and life skills, budgeting and financial literacy, employment
preparation, personal development, parenting skills and other training needs.

Individualised support for women with children is also provided. Women are assisted with
affordable accommodation and progress towards social and economic participation. Restart
helps women get back into the job market with links to suitable employers in the Melbourne
metropolitan area and specialist employment services.

The success of this program is reflected in the way it has transformed the lives of many
within its first year – offering stability to women during a particularly challenging time. Restart
aims for sustainable results for the women including safe and stable accommodation,
children attending school and health checks, a regular income source and the family’s
commitment to an integrated plan.

Breakout point: An innovative approach to helping women at risk of homelessness by
offering all-round support to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in,
homelessness
Samaritans Brokerage Support Service
through the Samaritans Foundation, NSW
Award Recipient

Samaritans Brokerage Support Service is a new service for families ‘at risk’ of homelessness
as a result of not being able to pay their rent or mortgage. By helping people stay in their
home, the service works to secure a stable environment for children, to ensure families and
children stay connected with their schools and other family and community support
networks.

Located in the Hunter Region of NSW, the Samaritans Brokerage Support Service has
assisted 113 families at risk of homelessness due to financial hardship in just six months
(from January to June 2012). The service provides early intervention for families with
dependent children – aged 16 years and under – facing possible homelessness due to rental
or mortgage arrears. Many factors lead to financial hardship such as family violence,
business failure, alcohol and other drugs, and disability issues. Often families face multiple
difficulties.

Samaritans Brokerage Support Service provides monetary assistance to minimise rental
arrears and avoid eviction, and also links clients to services that will help them maintain their
tenancy in the long term. All families are provided a face-to-face initial appointment with the
Samaritans Financial Counselling Service, to assess ongoing income and the sustainability
of the tenancy.

Samaritans Brokerage Support Service often identifies other factors impacting on the client
and encourages the involvement of other services to help resolve these issues.

The service has attracted the attention of private landlords, real estate agencies and the
local tenancy tribunal, all of whom make referrals to the Samaritans Brokerage Support
Service. The service staff advocate and work closely with other service providers in a way
that offers clients the ability to be an integral part of the process.
Detour Innovation Action project
through Melbourne Citymission, Kids Under Cover and Uniting Care, VIC
Finalist

The Detour Innovation Action Project (Detour) aims to identify ‘at risk’ young people by
supporting them to get back on track by diverting them from risks associated with
homelessness. Underway in Sunshine and Shepparton in Victoria, Detour focuses on ‘first to
know’ agencies as their partners in identifying young people showing early warning signs of
vulnerability and risk of homelessness.

Detour identifies and addresses the root-causes of homelessness risk factors for young
people and provides access to integrated services with individually tailored support
packages.

The project builds relationships with local institutions, organisations, schools and Centrelink,
and co-locates where possible to make connections easier. Early identification of at risk
young people allows Detour’s coaches to work with individuals and significant people in their
lives to develop a plan of action. The plan, led by the young person, helps to link them to
family and community supports and mainstream services before homelessness can become
a way of being.

The program has achieved positive engagement from young people who may be considered
difficult to engage.

With nearly 50 per cent of Detour’s clients aged 15-17 years, the program is helping young
people break the cycle of homelessness early, through consciously re-establishing and
maintaining family and community connections. School support and alternative options to
traditional refuge accommodation also form part of the program.

Breakout point: Kate* was 16 years old when referred to Detour. Detour helped by brokering
a relationship between Kate’s brother and her school, looked at options to pay outstanding
school fees and reviewed long-term housing options.
HomeConnect
through VincentCare, VIC
Finalist

HomeConnect seeks to help individuals and families when housing problems are just
beginning as opposed to when a crisis has occurred. Referred to by HomeConnect as ‘going
upstream’, they work to divert people away from the homelessness service system with a
focus on independence.

HomeConnect involves agencies and organisations with shared interests and goals. In
particular, these agencies share a desire to break the cycle of disadvantage and strengthen
people’s capabilities by delivering meaningful services early.

VincentCare Victoria is the lead agency, with operational partners, the Australian Community
Support Organisation (ASCO) and Anglicare Victoria. HomeConnect is one of eleven
Innovation Action Projects funded under the Victorian State Government’s Homelessness
Action Plan.

HomeConnect uses a case management model and is flexible to meet the needs of clients.
In developing a plan, the HomeConnect program can include education and employment
opportunities, support for young people leaving statutory care, support for older adults to find
appropriate housing, and links to affordable and sustainable private rental accommodation.

At the six month point of the HomeConnect pilot, 166 households had been prevented from
becoming homeless – which is 51 per cent of the program’s annual target. To date, young
people on the program have achieved the most success.

By valuing and respecting their clients and believing in their aspirations, HomeConnect links
people with appropriate community groups. The aim is to provide an environment that
enables people to find practical, lasting and real ways to achieve their potential.

Breakout point: ‘VincentCare have exceeded my expectations in every way during my time
with them. I would not have settled in a home without their assistance.’ – client feedback
Outstanding business or philanthropic commitment to
addressing homelessness
Making Ends Meet
through Anglicare WA
Award Recipient

The Making Ends Meet program provides targeted, professional support and financial
assistance to working families who are in private rental accommodation and experiencing
significant ‘housing stress’. With ongoing participation in financial counselling, Anglicare WA
hopes to give families in crisis a foundation on which to build a financially sound future.

When a working family is renting privately (and has been for six months or more), but is
facing hardship due to rent increases or personal crises, Making Ends Meet steps in to
ensure the family does not lose their tenancy. Often these families do not receive other
support and are typically identified as needing assistance by real estate agencies.

Making Ends Meet starts with an assessment of a family’s situation and then works to
develop a sustainable budget that may include paying rental arrears or outstanding bills and
an action plan to achieve stability. Brokerage funds are not limited or constrained, as family
needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. In addition to addressing families’ immediate
needs to avoid homelessness, Making Ends Meet also provides financial tools and
education to build resilience for any future crises. The goal is full financial independence.

The philanthropic donor’s aim is to help ‘Aussie battlers’ – families on low incomes who are
struggling to pay rent when a crisis, such as an injury or illness, puts pressure on their
budget or earning capacity.

Breakout point: Making Ends Meet helps families out of a jam – a short-term crisis that could
spiral out of control and see them homeless. It gets them back on track, clearing debts,
providing essential resources to rebuild and arm them with new skills and strategies to face
the future with confidence.
Donate Your Car Program
through Kids Under Cover and Manheim, VIC
Finalist

In partnership with Kids Under Cover, Manheim is a key contributor to the Donate Your Car
program. A highly innovative program operating since 2006, Donate Your Car provides
people in the community with an opportunity to give back in a simple way, with 100 per cent
of the proceeds from their car sale going towards preventing youth homelessness.

The Donate Your Car program is a free and fast alternative for individuals who are thinking
of selling or trading a vehicle. It is a simple way of making a significant contribution to the
lives of young Australians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The program has raised over $500,000 to fund Kids Under Cover’s operations, to support
national expansion and to provide homeless and at risk young people with studios,
scholarships and mentors.

Manheim is Australia’s largest provider of automotive auction services, holding weekly car
auctions for all types of used vehicles. Manheim provides collection services and waives
their seller fees when a donated car goes to auction. In one year alone, some 400 cars were
donated, costing Manheim approximately $50,000 in transport costs.

Manheim’s commitment extends to other support, with their annual Family Day raising both
awareness and money, staff volunteering at Kids Under Cover events, and a bright yellow
car named ‘Bernie’ donated for ongoing and active promotion around Victoria of Donate
Your Car.

The income generated from the Donate Your Car program makes it Kids Under Cover’s
most successful fundraising initiative.

While the program has been largely focused on Victoria to date, Kids Under Cover and
Manheim have made a commitment to expand the program into all other states of Australia
in 2013.

Kids Under Cover receives 100 per cent of the proceeds from each car when it goes to
auction to support young people at risk of homelessness.
Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering
services
Homeless to Home Healthcare Services
through Micah Projects, Mater Health Services and partners, QLD
Award Recipient

Micah Projects Inc. has been actively working with people in Brisbane for over 17 years to
address the complex needs of those who are homeless or vulnerably housed. To bring
healthcare to the streets and homes where vulnerable people live, Micah Projects has
developed partnerships with local health care providers to integrate much needed health
services into the support response.

Starting with a partnership with the Mater Foundation in 2010 called 50 Lives 50 Homes to
survey the health needs and mortality risk factors of people sleeping rough, this led to the
formation of the Homeless Healthcare Network. The Network, along with a National
Roundtable, has created momentum among more than 80 health practitioners, providers and
agencies seeking to improve the health response to people who are homeless.

Micah Projects then established Homeless to Home Healthcare, with partners Mater Health
Services, St Vincent’s Health Care, Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local and Metro
North Medicare Local. The program delivers integrated, multidisciplinary health and
community services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – this includes
proactive outreach, information and referrals.

The health services provided by this initiative are available via the Brisbane Homelessness
Service Centre ‘hub’, the after hours outreach team and in-home for tenants of Brisbane
Common Ground supportive housing apartment complex.

In the first five months of the Homeless to Home After Hours health service, 1,631 occasions
of care were provided, covering client ages from 14 years to 86 years.

With the integration of health practitioners in the support teams, a vast array of health care
interventions have been provided including general assessments, clinical care, wounds care,
medication management assistance, counselling and health education.
Common Ground
through Mission Australia Housing and Inner City Coalition
(Camperdown Support Services [CSS]), NSW
Finalist

Opened in late 2011, the Common Ground project in Camperdown reflects the collaborative
efforts of more than 30 private, public and government agencies.

Based on the New York model of housing, Common Ground provides long term housing with
onsite support to the long term homeless – on average, clients have been homeless for 12
years – in the inner city. The building is designed with 104 units and shared communal
spaces, including specially designed clinic and consultation rooms, a computer room and a
library.

Together, Mission Australia Housing and the Inner City Coalition have engaged a huge
network of partnerships to achieve the best building design and wrap around support
services for tenants. These services also help nearby public housing tenants and the local
community.

Within the first 14 months of operation, over 52 formerly long term homeless tenants
(individuals and couples) have been housed and provided individualised support. Also, 10
individuals on low incomes and at risk of homelessness and 42 low to moderate wage
earners have been provided affordable housing. Even pets have been catered for, given the
health and wellbeing benefits of animal companionship.

Common Ground offers residents access to a gym and fitness education, a free bike rental
system, computers and internet access, and services like counselling, podiatry, financial
support, a community nurse and a GP.

Common Ground’s innovative funding model for housing and support is sourced through
state and federal governments, corporate donations, private business contributions and
discounted services. An ongoing evaluation of the Common Ground project will help to
inform future planning and contribute to future options for housing rough sleepers.
Way2Home
through St Vincent's Hospital and Neami Ltd, NSW
Finalist

Way2Home has been operating since May 2010 and helps long-term rough sleepers in the
City of Sydney local government area with healthcare and psychosocial rehabilitation.

To provide the appropriate levels of support, Way2Home integrates two teams: the specialist
health team through St Vincent’s Hospital and support teams through Neami Ltd. The
partnership was extended in 2011 with the implementation of the Aboriginal Assertive
Outreach team with Neami Ltd. Way2Home provides support to people from the point of
engagement on the streets and throughout their journey into permanent housing. The
Homeless Health Outreach Team works collaboratively with the Outreach Team to ensure
the coordinated delivery of health services to those who need them.

Integration between the specialist health and support teams is crucial to the success of the
service, to specifically engage with vulnerable rough sleepers who often have a history of
‘falling through gaps’. Full wrap-around services ensure the complex needs of these rough
sleepers are addressed.

Through the assertive outreach approach, Way2Home has assisted 165 vulnerable rough
sleepers to access permanent housing and has provided outreach support services to 541
clients since May 2010.

Breakout point: Following a family breakdown, a 45-year-old Aboriginal woman had
experienced 25 years of homelessness and rough sleeping. Suffering anxiety and
depression, and diagnosed with hepatitis C, Way2Home helped to house her in the inner
west area of Sydney and start her medical treatment. Now in permanent accommodation,
this stability has helped the woman reconnect with her family and community and manage
her alcohol and substance use.
youth110
through youth110 partnership – Department for Communities and Social
Inclusion (DCSI), St John's Youth Services, and Urban Communities, SA
Finalist

Opened in September 2012, youth110 provides apartment-based crisis response to young
people needing emergency accommodation. It assists young people aged 15 to 25 years
with a place to stay to develop their living skills and connect back into their community via
education, training, employment and other community-based activities.

More than 250 young people were provided short-term or crisis apartment accommodation
and support at youth110 in its first three months of operation.

An innovative way of responding to youth homelessness, youth110 provides independent
living opportunities without separating couples or families and is set within a new 17 storey
mixed tenancy development known as UNO Apartments in the heart of Adelaide. Within the
UNO complex, various social housing and general market apartments are available, as well
as apartments for sale via the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

Through strong local partnerships, youth110 has helped many young people transition into
private rental tenancies, public housing and living arrangements with family and friends.
Many clients have also received transitional outreach through the St John’s Outreach
program.

St John’s Youth Services works closely with Urban Communities to establish and maintain a
positive culture within the youth110 service, as well as across the broader UNO community.
youth110 guests experience stability and safety, leaving them more able to focus on goal
setting, living skills and addressing identified issues.

The mixed tenancy apartment model, where youth110 guests have access to one of 30 safe
and fully self-contained apartments, has also demonstrated a much lower rate of reported
serious incidents.
Excellence in addressing Indigenous homelessness
The Watch House – Pick Up and Case Management project
through Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation, NT
Award Recipient

Targeting long-term homeless Indigenous men in Darwin, Larrakia Nation devised the Watch
House Pick Up and Case Management project to relocate those picked up for public
drunkenness.

Following a night in the police watch house, Larrakia Nation’s program provides a bus pick
up service every morning at 6am. Once picked up, clients can be dropped at a safe location
of their choice or go to Larrakia’s halfway house or shelter. Breakfast is provided, along with
a shower, laundry and first aid for cuts, scratches and other injuries. All these supplies are
generously donated by the Baptist Church Foodbank.

Throughout the day, diversions are used including cooking, wood work, education, fishing,
music and gardening. Some clients are even trained in repair work – of furniture and white
goods – and form part of the ‘Fix-’em-up Crew’. Referrals to key services such as outreach,
transport or tenancy support are booked if required. For some, short-term accommodation
and intensive case management is available at the program office building.

Ongoing support is also offered to those who are no longer in residence, but need
assistance to keep them on track.

The diversion activities and immediacy of action after police custody has seen this small
program make a big difference. With approximately 187 pick-ups per quarter and 49 clients
receiving ongoing support, Larrakia’s program is aiming to break the cycle of drinking for
many Indigenous men. Diversion activities not only offer physical and emotional wellbeing,
but they help build skills for employment and self-help.

The program has seen lives rebuilt and had long-term homeless, heavy drinking men
reintegrated back into family and their community.

Breakout point: A long-term homeless client works with other residents and his traditional
authority assists when the Watch House picks up young homeless men each morning.
Community Services – Specialist Aboriginal Team
through Wentworth Community Housing, NSW
Finalist

Wentworth Community Housing Limited provides affordable rental housing and other
housing assistance to people who are on low to medium incomes. They play an integral role
in the outer Western Sydney area, managing 1,968 properties and housing 4,000 adults and
children.

In July 2010, Wentworth acknowledged that they housed a relatively small number of
Aboriginal tenants and that this was not reflective of need in the community. They then
worked to establish Wentworth’s Specialist Aboriginal Team to deliver an assertive outreach
program for Aboriginal people at risk of homelessness to connect them with essential
services, support and housing.

Cultural context is crucial to the assistance provided by Wentworth’s Specialist Aboriginal
Team. Outreach is provided in a safe and familiar place, a support plan is developed that is
centred on spiritual and cultural issues, gender structures, history and the range of barriers
and issues faced by the individual.

Wentworth and its Aboriginal team can access information and start applications off-site.
They focus on intentionally adapting services to Aboriginal-specific practice and changing
policies to ensure they don’t restrict culturally appropriate services.

Between July 2011 and October 2012, the Specialist Aboriginal Team connected with and
provided support to 463 Indigenous Australians who were homeless or at risk of
homelessness in the outer Western Sydney region. Of them, 43 were housed and another
47 received support services such as detox and other drug/alcohol services, rehabilitation,
mental health and primary health care. Wentworth has also seen the percentage of
Indigenous tenants increase.

Breakout point: The teams regularly come together in the circle under Aboriginal guidance to
share, bond and focus on what’s required to reach out to those who are without a home.
Kurlana Tampawardli (New Houses on The Plains)
through Uniting Communities, SA
Finalist

Kurlana Tampawardli – ‘New Houses on The Plains’ – is Aboriginal Transitional Housing
Outreach Service facilitated by Uniting Communities. It provides short term transitional
accommodation and support to Aboriginal people from regional and remote communities
who arrive in Adelaide with little support and tenuous accommodation.

Kurlana Tampawardli takes a partnership approach to service delivery, working closely with
the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion, Housing SA and Uniting Aboriginal
and Islander Christian Congress (Salisbury Congress).

Transitional homelessness is experienced by many Indigenous people in South Australia,
many of whom go to Adelaide and stay with family due to kinship obligation to accommodate
family. This puts pressure on often stretched resources and sometimes leads to conflict
between family members. Others have no option but to sleep rough in Adelaide’s CBD
parklands and other areas, which poses health and safety risks.

Kurlana Tampawardli offers a range of support services such as transitional accommodation
in various locations, outreach support to facilitate medium or long-term public or private
accommodation, and assistance to people in supporting them to return to their communities
of origin. If steps are made to assist people return home, the team ensures links are made
for appropriate services on their return.

Since it opened, Kurlana Tampawardli has housed 88 clients in its Hendon premises and
supported 244 clients to return to their community.

More than 50 per cent of staff of Kurlana Tampawardli are Aboriginal, and the team works
closely with many other services and agencies to ensure referrals and to facilitate outcomes
for clients.

Breakout point: Kurlana Tampawardli provides a Living Skills Program to help clients secure
and maintain sustainable longer-term accommodation.
Excellence in supporting pathways to employment or
education
WorkNext Services – Education and Employment Program
through Catherine House Inc, SA
Award Recipient

Catherine House has a bold purpose to ‘solve women’s homelessness’ and has been
providing supported accommodation to single adult women in Adelaide for more than 20
years. Around 400 women access the Catherine House emergency program each year. The
52 staff work with up to 47 women each night.

Catherine House recognised that access to relevant education and employment
opportunities was still a service gap for homeless women to re-engage with the workforce
and it opened an Education Centre – ‘Sagarmatha’ in November 2006. Based on the
success of the Education and Employment Program and the need for more space, the
Batley Employment Centre was opened in October 2009 and is the home of the WorkNext
Job Placement Service, an innovative social venture to place graduates of the program with
supportive employers. These services are dedicated to educating women and supporting
them out of homelessness.

The specifically designed curriculum at the Education Centre operates 13 varied courses
(accredited and non-accredited) and has approximately 140 attendances each week.

Women are engaged in a non-threatening way and are encouraged to believe in the
potential of a better future. Clients are given the opportunity to make this a reality through a
four-stage model to understand their skills, get ready for employment, prepare for a job and
keep the job. WorkNext Services employs skilled and qualified educators and trainers,
partners with TAFESA and engages closely with the corporate sector to find new job
opportunities.

Individualised learning plans that are self-directed help women achieve satisfying outcomes,
including greater self-esteem, financial independence, improved health and restored
families.

Breakout point: Sagarmatha has changed the wellbeing and the lives of hundreds of women.
Help, Opportunities, Partnerships and Employment (HOPE) project
through The ORS Group, NSW
Finalist

The Help, Opportunities, Partnerships and Employment (HOPE) project run by The ORS
Group provides an innovative approach to improve the service delivery model for homeless
job seekers in the Parramatta area.

The ORS Group is a Job Services Australia employment services provider and, under
HOPE, has partnered with local community accommodation services to offer joint case
management to job seekers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Knowing that without a stable home, job seekers find it particularly difficult to undertake
training, seek employment and maintain their obligations with Centrelink, the HOPE project
aims to provide better accommodation options to job seekers. During a job seeker’s initial
assessment with the ORS Group, their accommodation needs are assessed, along with their
vocational options and non-vocational challenges.

Throughout a job seeker’s program with The ORS Group, stable housing and relevant
support services are as important as various training modules. The HOPE program includes
two weeks of group training for a range of needs – covering exercise, mental health, goal
setting, job retention and more. It also provides an outreach service at Parramatta Mission –
providing vocational support, employment selection, pre-employment training, information
related to the local labour market and links to education and employment opportunities. This
early intervention approach assists clients to find a pathway to employment in a familiar and
safe environment.

All job seekers engaged in the HOPE project are now in stable accommodation, and 63 per
cent have found employment.

Breakout point: The goal of HOPE is to ensure accommodation services and employment
services work in partnership.
McAuley Works
through McAuley Community Services for Women, VIC
Finalist

McAuley Works understands how important economic participation is for women who have
experienced family violence, periods of homelessness or mental health issues – it helps to
prevent homelessness, reduces reliance on social welfare, brings financial independence,
creates stability in families and builds self-confidence.

McAuley Works has spent the past three years assisting women to get into the workforce
and emphasises intensive, tailored and personalised relationship-based services. The
program works with women for as long as it takes for them to reach their employment goals
by empowering them through assisted development in the necessary skills to get work on
their own.

McAuley Works has witnessed genuine change in women’s lives. In 2011-12, 46 women
were placed in employment, 54 women started their journey to employment, 80 participated
in one-on-one mentoring and job search training, and 21 women undertook formal education
or qualifications.

Of the women assisted last financial year, 82 per cent were homeless or at risk of
homelessness, 81 per cent were affected by family violence and 68 per cent faced mental
health issues.

Overcoming these barriers to employment is where McAuley Works uses specialist
knowledge and resources to work with women to help safeguard their future.

When referred to McAuley Works Anna* was homeless and had a baby daughter in state
care. McAuley Works helped Anna find a job and supported her custody, legal and other
issues. In just over six months, Anna was working, housed in a private rental property and
had custody of her daughter. Anna said her participation in the McAuley Works program
was, literally, lifesaving.
Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural
or remote location
Community Accommodation & Support Agency Inc (CASA), QLD
Award Recipient

Community Accommodation and Support Agency Inc. (CASA) provides short term supported
accommodation for families with dependent children in their care. Clients are case managed
and support is provided to empower individuals to access independent accommodation and
achieve stability.

For almost 30 years, CASA has been helping families in crisis with emergency housing in
the Mackay area.

Many low and middle income families and individuals in Mackay and surrounding areas face
housing stress and are vulnerable to homelessness. CASA manages 17 crisis houses and
case manages families during their stay. The intensive support provided by CASA has
resulted in almost all of the 49 families involved last year being supported into permanent
housing.

The team also works with families and individuals at risk of losing their housing through the
Homestay program by linking households to health service support, household management
skills and budgeting assistance. Last year alone, CASA assisted 80 households become
self-reliant again.

A vast range of working groups, partnerships, research initiatives, drop-in services and
expos address key support gaps, and CASA is integral in these activities. CASA works with
over 20 agencies and departments actively involved in action groups or networks to address
service gaps, and is proud to be part of a community that works together to address the
issues of homelessness.

Breakout point: CASA worked with two local podiatrists as a distribution point for a shoe
drive for the city’s homeless.
Housing Legal Clinic – city to country homeless persons' legal services
through the Welfare Rights Centre SA Inc, SA
Finalist

The Welfare Rights Centre in Adelaide has a long history of providing information,
assistance and advocacy for disadvantaged and marginalised people. In times of personal
crisis, the Centre is there to help manage and overcome any significant crisis people may
have such as financial hardship, family breakdown, dependency on welfare support or living
rough.

The Welfare Rights Centre established the Housing Legal Clinic (HLC) in July 2006 with
funding from the Department of Housing SA to provide pro bono legal services in an effort to:

          end homelessness by reducing the marginalisation of people who are homeless or at
           risk of homelessness, and
          reduce the number of public and private tenants at risk of eviction from becoming
           homeless.

The HLC works with participating law firms to provide easy-access services to clients at
seven homelessness agencies across Adelaide.

In 2011, the HLC expanded to provide city to country homeless persons’ legal services in
partnership with city-based law firms and the UnitingCare Wesley Country SA. Through
these additional services, people in country towns and remote areas of SA have access to
the same pro bono legal services to those living in Adelaide. These services are often
provided via webcam and the internet at the host organisation for ease of access.

This model of taking professional services of pro bono lawyers to the clients at community
welfare organisations via the internet is innovative and unique, and helps alleviate prohibitive
costs to ensure the state’s most vulnerable get the legal services they need.

Breakout point: Each year more than 65 volunteers are involved in this service.
Western NSW Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) – Intensive Case
Management Support for Single Men with Complex Needs, through
Mission Australia, NSW
Finalist

The NSW Homelessness Action Plan (NSW HAP) identifies a number of strategies and
actions aimed at implementing reform. It focuses on the response and management of early
prevention of homelessness, directing it towards a greater emphasis on long-term housing
with support rather than crisis accommodation.

In Bathurst and Orange, the Western NSW HAP addresses homelessness with a particularly
vulnerable group: single men with complex needs. Based on 2006 Census figures and other
analyses, the program was developed with the goal to provide a local response among men
– especially Indigenous men – facing homelessness and the issues that underlie it, such as
alcohol and drug dependency, financial hardship, unemployment, low literacy and anti-social
behaviours.

An integrated program, the Western NSW HAP provides tenancy support, works intensively
with Bathurst Correctional Facility, uses culturally appropriate case management tools and
partners with other referral and support agencies.

In less than two years, the Western NSW HAP Project has served 260 people and assisted
136 to exit the program into permanent, safe and sustainable accommodation. The
remaining clients are still participating in the program. Other successes include a high
percentage of clients housed in private rental compared to public rental accommodation and
a high level of public support for the service.

Breakout point: Western NSW HAP staff established a community garden at the Mission
Australia office where clients are provided with an opportunity to practice pro-social
interactions in a non-threatening environment.
The Bundaberg Housing and Homeless Forum, QLD
Finalist

The Bundaberg Housing and Homeless Forum is a true regional network of like-minded
housing and homeless sector workers with a goal to help people navigate their way to
support when homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Forum is comprised of a group of workers from the housing and homelessness sector
and represents a range of non-government and government services. Meeting quarterly, the
Forum identified the need to devise a simple tool to help people find the service they need;
at the time they need it.

The result was the development of a Homelessness Flow Chart, which provides information
across four topic areas, so a clear pathway leads the client to the most appropriate service.
The service delivery model has a range of simple decision points for the client, which then
leads to real, local service provider options and contact numbers.

The Flow Chart is a live document and is used by all agencies in the Bundaberg area. It has
assisted many service providers and individuals to gain quick and direct access to services.

The Forum has planned a range of activities for 2013 that will highlight Youth Homelessness
Matters Day, Homeless Person Week, and Anti-Poverty Day. The Forum will also run
workshops, and develop resources and tools to explain how the housing system works.
Highly commended services
There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the call for nominations for this year’s
Awards. With so many first-rate nominations, selecting the finalists was a challenge. As a
result, the judging panel have recognised other highly commended services that are helping
people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to get their lives back on track.

Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by an
organisation
SunnyKids Virtual Village, QLD

Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in, homelessness.
Street Law through Welfare Rights and Legal Centre, ACT

Home at Last through Housing for the Aged Action Group Inc., VIC

Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering services
Mooroopna Project through Rural Housing Network Limited, VIC

Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural or remote
location
Homelessness Action Plan Domestic Violence Support Program through Wollongong
Women’s Refuge, NSW
Judging Panel
Professor Chris Chamberlain
Professor Chris Chamberlain was Director for the Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT
University from 2005-2013.

He is the joint author of Youth Homelessness: Early Intervention and Prevention (1998),
Counting the Homeless 2001 (Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003) and Counting
the Homeless 2006 (Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008).

Counting the Homeless 2006 found that the number of homeless people had increased from
99,900 in 2001 to 105,000 in 2006. These findings influenced the Australian Government’s
White Paper on homelessness (The Road Home, 2008) which set the target to halve
homelessness by 2020. Chris was invited to attend the 2020 Summit in Parliament House,
Canberra because of his expertise on homelessness.

Chris is currently working on an evaluation of the Melbourne Street to Home project (with Dr
Guy Johnson) and undertaking a study of boarding houses.

Lynne Evans
Lynne Evans, a retired CEO, continues to fulfil a long passion for assisting others and
working with people living with disadvantage.

Initially trained as a general nurse, before moving to midwifery, Lynne further embraced her
vocation attaining a Bachelor of Applied Science in Community Nursing in the areas of child,
maternal and school health; putting her emphasis on working with people who were at risk of
falling through the gaps in the system.

After securing a Graduate Diploma in Business and armed with a sound understanding of
managerial best practice, Lynne undertook a senior management role in Strategic
Development at a major teaching hospital.

In 1999 Lynne journeyed back to her roots immersing herself in community development and
work as the CEO of St Bartholomew’s House, East Perth. In 2012, the new $32 million
dollar, 148 bed St Bartholomew’s House Lime Street East Perth building was completed.
This was the culmination of Lynne’s vision for new corporate offices and increased and
improved accommodation services for people experiencing homelessness. Her enthusiasm,
energy and ‘can do’ attitude made St Bartholomew’s House the vibrant, caring organisation it
is today.

Lynne continues to volunteer her time in a variety of positions, including with Homelessness
Australia and with a steering group to improve health care for people experiencing
homelessness in a range of accommodation facilities. Lynne has recently returned from
Manila where she was working with an International medical team repairing cleft lips and
palates on children in poverty.

Arati Waldegrave
Arati is an experienced public servant, having worked for the Australian, English and New
Zealand governments in a range of public management and housing policy roles.
Her housing policy work has had a particular focus on how the housing market and social
housing can function better to meet the needs of the most vulnerable as well as to facilitate
broader social and economic connections for these individuals and groups.

Up until recently, Arati was responsible for the Government’s homelessness agenda at the
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in Australia,
where her understanding of the interaction between the different parts of the housing system
assists in supporting the national approach to reducing homelessness.

Arati was also a member of the National Board of the Australian Red Cross and Chair of the
ACT Advisory Board. She has been involved with the Red Cross since 1995 in New Zealand
and the United States in various voluntary capacities.
Awards event entertainment
Master of Ceremonies – Dr Jonathon Welch AM
Dr Jonathon Welch AM has a long-standing passion for social justice and is well known for
his work in the homelessness sector. Dr Welch established the first choirs for people
experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in 2001 with the Sydney Street Choir and the
Choir of Hard Knocks. In 2012, he launched his vision for an arts, cultural and wellbeing
program for those experiencing homelessness with the “School of Hard Knocks Institute”.

Dr Welch has been widely recognised for his long-standing passion for social justice and
contributions to the homelessness sector. He was Australian of the Year in 2008 and
received the 2008 Local Hero award. He also received an Order of Australia in the Queen’s
Birthday Honours in 2009 for service to the arts as an operatic performer and vocal coach,
and to the community as the founder and musical director of the Choir of Hard Knocks.

BREAKOUT POINT: conceptualised by Dr Welch, Social Inclusion Week was launched in
2009 to encourage communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups,
nationalities and the disadvantaged.



The Choir of Hope and Inspiration
The Choir of Hope and Inspiration, previously known as the Choir of Hard Knocks, provides
ongoing and regular contact to members, and has resulted in many positive outcomes.
Participants develop greater self-esteem, a sense of belonging and a connection to the
community. Many members have returned to part or full time study or work.

The Choir is in great demand and performs to sell-out audiences around Australia. It has
received a Logie Award for the Most Outstanding Factual Documentary TV Series in 2007,
various ARIA awards and the coveted Helpmann Award for the ‘Most Outstanding Special
Event’ for their sell out concerts at the Sydney Opera House in 2007.

BREAKOUT POINT: The follow up documentary on the Choir, BEYOND HARD KNOCKS,
will be premiered at the Melbourne International Singers Festival June 7, 2013.

				
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