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Minister John Carey Embraces Housing First Approach: Hope for Homelessness

This Homelessness Week 2023 Ruah Community Services (Ruah) stand strongly as advocates for the people we serve who are experiencing homelessness.   

This week we had the honour of hosting The Hon. John Carey MLA, Minister for Planning, Lands, Housing & Homelessness, at our Ruah Engagement Hub in Northbridge.   

The Minister’s recent article in The West Australian has ignited a new wave of awareness of the strengths of a Housing First approach to ending homelessness.  

A Resounding Call for Change   

Minister Carey’s article on 8 August 2023, ‘Forging New Paths Out of Hell,’ captured many areas of focus of Ruah. The article echoes the sentiments that have guided us for years – the Housing First approach is a beacon of hope, a tangible solution, and a pathway to ending homelessness. The Minister’s words have resonated deeply with our team and have reinvigorated our determination to advocate for this proven, evidence-based strategy.  

An Evidence-Based Approach   

In the conversation with Minister Carey and our team, he stated, “What we know is that the housing first approach is evidence-based, and as a decision-maker that is a clear way forward. It’s a proven, long-term solution to the problem.”   

In his article, Minister Carey discussed the significance of the wrap around services in supporting housing first, proven with the 50 Lives 50 Homes initiative that Ruah lead in 2017 along with a consortium of more than 30 sector partners. This project continues to this day as the Zero Project – Housing First Coordination for WA of which Ruah is a dedicated partner.   

Housing First: A Blueprint for Change   

Housing first places stable housing as the primary stepping stone towards empowerment, recovery, and rehabilitation. By providing individuals with a secure and dignified place to call home, we pave the way for them to regain control over their lives, rebuild their self-esteem, and access the support services they need to overcome the challenges they face.  

 A Call to Action 

As Homelessness Week 2023 continues to raise awareness and inspire change, Ruah is committed to amplifying the message championed by Minister Carey. We invite our community members, partners, and stakeholders to join us in supporting evidence-based approaches such as Housing First as part of the solution to ending homelessness. Let’s create a future where homelessness becomes rare, brief, temporary and non-recurring.  

“This Homelessness Week, I want to take a moment to acknowledge our colleagues in the community sector who are driven by a desire to create change so that all West Australians can enjoy what our State has to offer.  The passion, energy and commitment is something we should all be proud of” said Debra Zanella, CEO of Ruah. 

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