We provided support through our existing outreach and wrap-around services to provide people in temporary accommodation immediate support and to help the transition to longer-term housing.
In Adelaide, the COVID-19 Emergency Accommodation Response for Rough Sleepers (CEARS) was a joint effort between the South Australian Housing Authority, partner agencies Baptist Care, Hutt Street Centre, Neami's Street to Home, Service to Youth Council and a wide range of other collaborators.
CEARS supported a total of 499 adults and 33 children with accommodation assistance and support. The program built on the collective action toward zero homelessness, established by the Adelaide Zero Project.
Through CEARS, we saw that emergency accommodation or longer-term housing without adequate support is not enough to prevent "repeat" homelessness. A recent 12-month extension of outreach and case management support will assist people with longer-term needs such as improving health outcomes, building confidence in financial and home-routines and strengthening community connections.
In New South Wales, staff from Neami's STEP-Link service provided support to meet the immediate needs of people in temporary accommodation and also provide help navigating the process of moving into long term housing.
With many people in stable accommodation, the situation offered a unique opportunity to support people to take a look at their needs beyond finding a place to sleep.
Based on our successful STEP service, STEP-Link seeks the right support is in place to maintain a long-term tenancy. Working with each person allowed us to address other parts of life, such as physical and mental health needs, drug and alcohol use or financial independence.
In Geelong, Victoria, the multi-disciplinary team at Towards Home+ worked with local community groups, the City of Greater Geelong and the Victoria Police to support people to move from the streets to temporary accommodation.
The relationships the team have developed with people sleeping rough through ongoing outreach work was critical to the rapid transition. Through trust and shared understanding, we can help make connections with ongoing support to attain long-term housing and wrap-around support.