From homeless to ‘home’: Access Housing and the ‘50 Lives 50 Homes’ program

11 Jul 2018

Access Housing has been a proud partner in Ruah’s ‘50 Lives 50 Homes’ (50L50H) initiative since its launch in 2015.

50L50H sees more than 20 partner organisations work collaboratively to permanently house and adequately support homeless people who are identified as being the most vulnerable based on their physical and/or mental health needs and the length of time they have been homeless. Program clients are identified through a survey process carried out on the streets. The information collected is used to rapidly prioritise people sleeping rough for housing and wrap around support, which is delivered using a ‘Housing First’ approach.

The ‘Housing First’ approach is grounded in the idea that a homeless person’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing and any other issues they may face can and should be addressed once they have secure housing. Having as-required and comprehensive support in place helps tenancies start successfully and reduces the risk of the person returning to homelessness.

50L50H has, to date, housed 107 people – far exceeded the initial goal of providing 50 homes to 50 people. On average, the people housed had spent seven years either homeless and/or sleeping rough. Access Housing has provided 12 program participants with a home so far and has further assisted with the program’s success by being involved in the Operational and Strategic steering group for the project.

The Perth 50 Lives 50 Homes project is inspired by targeted campaigns such as the highly successful 100,000 Homes campaign in the US, 50 Lives 50 Homes in Brisbane and 90 Lives 90 Homes in Sydney. The project provides a model for organisations, outreach workers, volunteers and communities to work together to identify and register people at risk, prioritise those most vulnerable and match them to appropriate community services and housing options.

Access Housing is proud to continue its involvement in the 50L50H project and meaningfully contribute to helping end homelessness in Perth.