[Sub ID 4650] Opportunity Knocks (Housing Plus)

Submission ID: 4650
Organisation name: Housing Plus
Contact name: Mr Justin Cantelo
State: NSW
Contact email: BDIM@housingplus.com.au
Contact number: 0263603433

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Housing Plus provides community housing, homelessness and domestic violence services for individuals and families in Central West NSW. These clients often come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, with a history of generational welfare. Statistics from our homelessness service in Orange indicate that over 600 individuals accessed the homelessness service with around 100 of those being under 25. The numbers across Central West NSW will therefore be far greater. This program will target two priority groups: young parents and young students at risk of long-term unemployment.

Through our client and staff surveys related to these target groups, we have identified the following broad challenges in achieving long term employment: long-term stable housing is often not available; lack of job readiness skills; drug and alcohol dependency; family breakdown or trauma; stigma attached to people from social housing backgrounds that impacts on employment opportunities; Centrelink disincentives connected to entering into employment; social pressure related to entering into training or employment; a history of crime leading to discrimination from employers; a history of mental illness or other health issues; lack of driver’s licence and transport; and shame among Indigenous Australians.

What is your idea?

The Opportunity Knocks initiative will adopt three best practice principles that will support young people to develop job readiness skills and maintain long term employment:

1. ‘Housing First’ Approach and Foyer Model:
Evidence has shown that stable housing is an essential component to achieving better health, mental health, education, employment and overall wellbeing. Participants will be given a choice of accommodation based on their initial assessment, including an option to share with other participants as part of an adapted Foyer model. The adapted Foyer model will help to break down barriers to unemployment by providing access and networks to training and employment for disadvantaged young people.

2. Tailored Wrap-around Support:
Tailored case coordination combined with a new coaching element will empower and motivate the individual to achieve their life goals. The young person’s Program Coach will link them into the appropriate support services to help them succeed. The Program Coach will implement an initial intake assessment, including identification of life aspirational goals, that will inform their personalised program. They will enter into an agreement with Housing Plus whereby they will agree to achieve regular milestones over a 2-5 year period.

3. Collective Impact:
Housing Plus has partnered with key stakeholders to adopt a collective impact approach to service delivery, which works on the following principles: shared goals and commitment to the issue, one system for all services involved, and a dedicated backbone agency that coordinates services, shares knowledge, inspires innovation and motivation, tracks data, and ensures agreement and understanding of common goals.