As the Housing First Coordinator for Western Australia, we support communities to use a Housing First approach to work collaboratively to reduce and ultimately end rough sleeping and chronic homelessness in their local communities.
We use the Advance to Zero methodology, which means that rather than counting the number of houses provided, we are counting down the number of people experiencing rough sleeping and chronic homelessness, with the aim of reaching ‘functional zero’, using a combination of quality real-time data and service coordination. Functional zero will be achieved when there are enough services, houses, 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.
What do we do?
- We manage the By Name List for local communities to enable them to have live data of how their service system is working and use it to drive evidence-based improvements that help reduce rough sleeping and chronic homelessness. The By Name List is a tool that enables organisations across the sector to collaboratively track and quantify homelessness.
- We provide place-based coordination to help local service systems to work collaboratively so they can more effectively allocate housing and support resources.
- We offer a range of quality Housing First training courses to assist services transform their work and adopt best practice approaches.
- We use high quality data from the By Name List, and the experience of contributors from across our partner organisations to identify bottlenecks and gaps in the local service system and help design improvement projects.
Zero Project is currently being delivered in five areas across WA – metropolitan Perth and Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Geraldton and Bunbury.
The below table shows how we see the By Name List Working:
Shared commitment by organisations to end homelessness in local area
Agreed protocols for consent, information sharing, etc.
Organisations working together for shared goal of ending homelessness
Outreach services work together to map and ensure coverage of the target area
Involve other groups like rangers, soup runs and day centres to identify people
We know by name everyone who is homeless, so people don’t get forgotten about or excluded
Needs of all homeless people mapped
Option to include on list without survey
Informed consent sought, with option for partial consent and exclusions
Clear and consistent map of support needs for both individuals and homeless people as a whole
|By name list
Establish list of all homeless people in area
List shared between key agencies
List can show lead agency/worker to ensure person has access to housing and support
Reduce duplication and highlights if people are being lost or forgotten to the system
|Update list and map outcomes
All participating services able to update changes in person’s housing status
System established to ensure homeless people are not moved to “inactive” without being actively looked for
Month by month live data on number of people currently homeless and flow through service system
|Prioritise people for housing
Participating services collaborate to prioritise people for housing
Map housing types, retention rates and exits to homelessness
Shift system to best-fit rather than first-come-first-served approach
|Analyse effectiveness of system
Analysis of month by month live data on housing outcomes to show which parts of the system are struggling
Participating services come together to create solutions and prototype new responses
Shift system to by prototyping and fine-tuning service models based on local up to date data