UNITING FOR HOMELESSNESS IS A NEW APPROACH THAT HAS BEEN CO-DESIGNED BY MEMBERS OF THE UNITED WAY WA HOMELESSNESS COALITION TO FIND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE COMPLEX ISSUE THAT IS HOMELESSNESS.

UNITING FOR HOMELESSNESS IS AN INNOVATIVE NEW PROJECT TO SUPPORT HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THEIR JOURNEY FROM HOMELESSNESS TO JOBS IN PERTH.

This approach recognises that:

  1. Singular or individual interventions will not bring about lasting, positive change. Agencies or organisations can be limited by their resources or mandate. Only through structured collaboration and genuine cross-sector work can intractable social problems such as homelessness be addressed.
  2. Disadvantage and social exclusion are steeped in complexity. In general there is never one reason behind poverty and homelessness, but rather a number of factors, often inter-related. However, work and the income that flows from it are fundamental.

The Coalition has determined that the best way forward is to transition homeless people into education, training, and on to employment through a tailor made program that focuses on employment outcomes, which includes partnerships with business and social enterprises.

Uniting for Homelessness will, for the first time in Western Australia, introduce a collaborative, cross-sector approach to transitioning people from homelessness, into education, training and on to lasting employment. It aims to provide homeless people with a sustainable pathway out of homelessness and ensure that positive changes in their lives are enduring.

Uniting for Homelessness aims to fill a significant gap in the current system of addressing homelessness. There are substantial resources already being invested in immediate issues facing homeless people in Perth, such as providing crisis accommodation, support for health problems and meeting hunger. However, the chronic poverty that characterises homelessness and the cycle of moving into and out of homelessness will not end in a sustained way for many without opportunities for education, training for those without qualifications and, most importantly, opportunities for sustained rewarding employment and the income that flows from that.

Individual organisations working in the homelessness field in Perth have recognised that they need to work together and establish a broader partnership, collaborating with education and training providers, and with business and social enterprises to meet the current gaps in the homelessness pathway to employment. They have created a collective approach that works across sectors and organisational boundaries and are now developing the infrastructure and seeking the capacity support to implement the bold plan.

Uniting for Homelessness has adopted the Collective Impact framework as one that provides for structured collaborative action, complements existing support programs and designs tailor-made solutions specific to individual needs. It is based on a partnerships approach that sees people and organisations pooling resources to enact the changes that are critically needed in Western Australia.

The Uniting for Homelessness approach will result in skills development, jobs creation, employment for homeless people and procurement and work placement opportunities for business, as well as exciting, socially meaningful recruitment options for new and existing social enterprises and small businesses.

Through a new way of working together, Uniting for Homelessness will make a real difference in strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of our state.

For further information contact Sue Dixon, CEO, United Way WA on 9440 4800 or sdixon@unitedwaywa.com.au

For further information click here for the full prospectus

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