Beds for Change
In the early response to COVID-19, there was an urgent need to locate and accommodate people sleeping rough in the greater Perth area. As well as reducing community transmission of the virus and minimising hospital admissions and fatalities, the objective was to provide support for people to begin their journey out of homelessness.
We partnered with Noongar Mia Mia and Hostel G to deliver the Lotterywest-supported Beds for Change program. People sleeping rough were provided with safe accommodation, which included specialised and culturally appropriate supports. We also engaged with residents to build their capacity to maintain future accommodation and housing tenancies.
Woodside COVID-19 fund outreach service
A donation from Woodside funded 2 Assertive Outreach Workers, each employed for 24 hours per week and based at the Moore St Services Hub. Over a 6-month period, our team worked to better understand who was sleeping rough in the area and build rapport with people who may need connection to services. The team reported engagement with an average of 100 people per shift. Over 6 months the Team supported:
- 553 people with information on other services, advocacy, and referrals into our Uniting engagement hub at Tranby
- 28 people into transitional accommodation, for example Uniting’s Beds for Change, and emergency accommodation
- Much needed connections for people using Moore Street to various specialist health services such as Homeless Healthcare, Royal Perth Hospital, and alcohol and other drug services such as Cyrenian House
- 4 women into refuges
- Built strong relationships with Orange Sky to support people accessing the laundry service.
City of Vincent Leederville Gardens Trust – COVID-19 Grant
With the support of the City of Vincent, the Uniting outreach team was able to operate within the City to provide rapid, wrap-around support to people sleeping rough in the area.
Over 3 months the Team recorded over 416 engagements, providing information, rapport building, and advocacy. The Team provided clients with 21 phones, 24 smart riders purchased with brokerage and 337 instances of material assistance including clothing. The Team successfully made 77 referrals into accommodation.
January COVID-19 lockdown and bushfire
During the January COVID lockdown and bushfires in Perth, our team acted quickly to support our service users into emergency accommodation, including our Subiaco office.
With the support of Tradelink, we also raised $34,000 towards the Bushfire Relief, with funds directly allocated to support impacted communities through the Uniting Church Disaster Relief and Community Recovery Working Group.