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New homelessness support and services for Perth

We are so proud to be part of a partnership with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre and Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, that has been awarded $6.9 million to provide wraparound supports and links to accommodation for people experiencing homelessness across the Perth metropolitan area over the next five-years.

This is the latest announcement to come as part of the State Government’s $34.5 million Housing First Homelessness Initiative, through which Ruah was appointed as the Housing First Coordinator for WA in October last year (2020).

CEO Debra Zanella said this announcement offered some much-needed positive news during a week when so many in Perth are doing it extra tough.

“We know all too well that homelessness continues to be a significant issue, with more than nine thousand people experiencing homelessness and 1,000+ of those sleeping rough in WA each night,” said Debra.

“Ruah has long been a champion of innovation and collaboration in the community service sector and we were instrumental in bringing the Housing First approach to WA.

“We believe in this collective impact approach which brings together the various support services people need to wrap around the individual and help them to make meaningful change in their lives – with housing as a first step,” she explained.

“Wungening and St Patrick’s both share the vision for ending homelessness and we are really pleased to be partnering with them to deliver services that will improve outcomes for people experiencing homelessness across Perth.”

Wungening Aboriginal Corporation assists Aboriginal people in the areas of justice, child protection and homelessness delivering programs that address systemic disadvantage using evidence-based solutions from an Aboriginal perspective using Aboriginal ways. It is the only Aboriginal controlled alcohol and drug service and refuge in the metropolitan area and South West.

With First Nations people significantly over-represented in Perth’s homeless population, the partnership model has a strong focus on Aboriginal leadership and Wungening Aboriginal Corporation will chair the governance committee to ensure culturally appropriate outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing homelessness.

“My team and I at Wungening Aboriginal Corporation are proud to work in partnership with Ruah and St Patrick’s Community Support Centre with relation to addressing homelessness within Perth Metropolitan Region,” said Daniel Morrison, Wungening Aboriginal Corporate CEO.

“Housing First initiatives have demonstrated great success around the world, and I look forward to seeing even better results here in Perth for our community.”

St Patrick’s Community Support Centre is a specialist homelessness service which has been working with vulnerable people in the south metropolitan area for almost 50 years. A registered community housing provider, St Patrick’s manages 140 accommodation units and delivers services to more than 1,500 people a year who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Michael Piu, St Patrick’s CEO commented that amid the pressures of COVID-19, higher unemployment rates and an overcrowded rental market, it is more important than ever that the community sector works together to help vulnerable people, who risk becoming further entrenched in hardship.

“The Housing First model incorporates a trauma-informed approach which takes into consideration a person’s diverse individual stories and needs, as well as their culture and aspirations,” said Michael.

“We are very pleased to be working with Ruah and Wungening to implement this important initiative, which will help many more people in need find housing and achieve quality of life.”

The State Government has also announced that Anglicare WA will receive $2.5 million to help people experiencing homelessness in Bunbury, in partnership with Doors Wide Open and Breakaway Inc., and that Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with Noongar Mia Mia and Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation, has been awarded a $6.8 million contract for the Moorditj Mia ‘Strong Home’ program, to support Aboriginal people sleeping rough.