COVID-19: Emergency housing first step to long-term home
- 24 July 2020 11:46AM
Through partnerships with specialist homelessness services, vulnerable Queenslanders are being kept safe and helped into long-term accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic response has really given us a great opportunity to work differently and increase some existing partnerships that we already had in place with specialist homelessness services,” says Chris Carlyon, from the Buranda Housing Service Centre.
His team are working with Micah Projects and Communify to ensure crisis accommodation recipients are supported and have a pathway into long-term accommodation. Together they interview clients on-site at their temporary accommodation.
“The purpose of the joint assessment is to have a conversation with the individual about their personal circumstances to understand their housing needs and their support needs,” Chris said.
Stuart had been homeless for 6 months when the pandemic was declared. Micah helped him to find crisis accommodation, and he recently had an assessment to discuss his options for finding a longer-term home.
“My interview was with Housing and Micah. They’ve given me a list of places that I can go and look at. They’ve helped me with rental grants and a bond loan,” Stuart said.
“Where I was living in my car and I didn’t really have hope from day to day. Now I’ve got hope that I can get into accommodation which leads me to a job which leads me to my own freedom.”
Karyn Walsh, CEO of Micah Projects, who run the Street to Home program, said the need for crisis accommodation in Brisbane has increased during the pandemic.
“While we know some of the clients, we’re also helping people who are first time homeless. They have no income and no savings,” Karen said.
“The oldest person has been 93, the youngest has been a newborn baby so it’s really all age groups across the population.”
Karen Dare, CEO of Communify Queensland, who run the Hart 4000 homelessness service, said that the emergency housing response has been a team effort.
“We were all putting up our hands as service providers to wrap support around people. We are getting the right housing responses for people,” Karen said.