Ruah appointed as Housing First Coordinator for WA
Ruah Community Services has been appointed as the Housing First Coordinator for WA as part of the State Government’s Housing First Homelessness Initiative.
Building on the success of the innovative 50 Lives 50 Home project, Ruah will provide the backbone support for the Zero Project – Housing First Coordination for WA, which will see an expansion of the project into Geraldton, Mandurah, Bunbury and Rockingham while also continuing and adapting the work being done in the metropolitan region.
Ruah Acting CEO Shayla Strapps said this was exciting step in the journey to end homelessness.
“We are all too aware that homelessness continues to be a significant issue within the Australian community. In WA alone there are more than nine thousand people experiencing homelessness with 1,000+ of those sleeping rough in the state each night.
“This collective impact approach to ending homelessness brings together all 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 vital first step,” said Shayla.
One of the important elements of the Zero Project is that it will use an Advance to Zero methodology – so rather than counting up the number of people housed, it counts down the number of people needing housing with the aim of achieving ‘functional zero’ for rough sleepers in a city or town area using a combination of quality real-time data and service coordination.
Functional zero is achieved where there are enough services, housing and crisis beds for everyone who needs them. As a result, homelessness is rare and for those that experience it, it is short-lived and one-off.
“We’re really pleased to be able to include an important training element as part of the project to expand the knowledge and capability within the sector,” explained Shayla. “WA’s only qualified Housing First trainer, Ruah’s Leah Watkins will be providing Housing First training alongside a dedicated training position funded with support from Lotterywest, to help services transform their work and adopt best practice approaches.”
The Zero Project will also manage the By Name List – a tool that enables organisations from across the sector to collaboratively track and quantify homelessness, so that local communities have a real time picture of how their service system is working and can use it to drive evidence-based improvements to help reduce rough sleeping and chronic homelessness.
Ruah is currently recruiting for a range of new roles – including a data lead position, dedicated training/action research role and place-based project workers in new communities. To find out more, or for more details please contact the Zero Project team by email [email protected].