The Andrews Labor Government will support the expansion of a ground-breaking program helping people experiencing long-term homelessness with funding of $1.2 million over three years, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley announced today at Sacred Heart Mission.
Sacred Heart Mission’s Journey to Social Inclusion program is about to enter its second phase and expand to more people over a wider area through partnerships with St Mary’s House of Welcome and VincentCare.
The program will cater for 60 people between 25-50 years who have spent a year on the streets or had five years of chronic homelessness. They will receive intensive, individualised support to address the causes of their homelessness, including rapid rehousing and trauma-informed practice.
Specially trained support workers will work to improve participants' interpersonal skills, literacy and numeracy, practical living skills, tenancy skills and, where possible, guide them to education, training, volunteering and employment.
The J2SI pilot program that ran from 2009 to 2012 took a relationship-based approach and provided long-term support to help people hold on to housing and manage complex health issues, as well as providing opportunities to develop training and skills. Participants included rough sleepers with high and complex needs.
The program resulted in 75 per cent of the 40 participants remaining in stable housing after four years, breaking the cycle of long-term homelessness. It also led to an 80 per cent fall in visits to hospital by participants.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability & Ageing Martin Foley
“Addressing long-term homelessness and its impact on the lives of many Victorians remains a key priority for the Andrews Labor Government.”
“J2SI shows what can be achieved by putting people at the centre of integrated care, with housing, employment, substance abuse and mental health services.”
“This program goes the extra mile for marginalised and vulnerable people so they can build trusted connections and hope for a better future.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020