We contributed our experience of supporting people to live independently in the community, and our specialist mental health expertise to work with organisations across sectors in supporting people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness.
Street to Home is a housing-first approach, supporting people sleeping rough in the Adelaide CBD to find and maintaining sustainable housing.
Working with the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion and the previous providers, we successfully ensured a smooth transition by focusing on the needs of people sleeping rough.
We were fortunate to be able to bring some existing staff members across to support the continuity of service. We were also able to work closely with local community services, businesses, and members of the public to establish the trust required to deliver the assertive outreach program. The program has a lived experience component, helping to support clients who have recently moved into housing.
We know that once people are in a stable home it’s much easier for them to make other changes to improve their health and wellbeing. Since commencing the service, we have assisted more than 40 people into housing. Our outreach teams have worked with over 250 people sleeping rough to identify their needs and assist with housing, access to health, financial relief, legal support, and many other aspects of wellbeing.
Strong collaborations with SA Housing Authority, Community Housing, South Australia Police, Correctional Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Hutt Street Centre, HYPA, BaptistCare, and many other homelessness service providers, has enabled Street to Home to prove itself as a valuable and integrated support service in the Adelaide CBD.
The Street to Home team has supported the successful implementation of Street Connect. Street Connect is a SA Government initiative, for members of the public to notify Street to Home if they have seen someone they think is sleeping rough in the Adelaide CBD, or surrounding parklands. To date, Street to Home has responded to 100% of these notifications with offers of support to people sleeping rough.
‘I had several jobs throughout my life. In 1999, I stupidly started using drugs. I had a few mental health issues, which I believe I was self-medicating for. When I turned 50, after many years of abuse and gambling problems, I became homeless, and I was homeless on and off for about four years.
‘I was sleeping rough one night and the people from Street to Home came along. They were trying to talk to me and even get me a place to sleep for a night or two, and I was a bit... not in the right frame of mind at the time.
‘I had a few hospitalisations around that time as well. I have bipolar disorder and severe depression. I reached a stage where I was going to give up. So, in desperation, I remembered Street to Home. I went in there and said to them, basically, “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” And from there they gave me all the help in the world. It all happened very quickly.
‘I still have very many bad days. But hopefully it gets better and better. You have to be in the state of mind where you want to help yourself. It’s just ways of thinking.’
George is supported through Street to Home in South Australia.
Neami is a major partner in the Adelaide Zero Project, an innovative collective impact project led by the Don Dunston Foundation, committed to ending ‘functional’ street homelessness in inner-city Adelaide.
Neami, through our Street to Home service, are the lead agency for the Adelaide Zero Project By-Name List, which involves knowing every person sleeping rough by name. Importantly, this creates an opportunity to have a conversation and hear each person’s story.
Knowing each person and having real-time data on homelessness has allowed the project to understand gaps in current services across the sector. The data further informs us about which strategies are most effective in reducing the number of people sleeping rough.