[Sub ID 4852] Aspirational Housing for TAFE- Uni students (UnitingCare Harrison)

Submission ID: 4852
Organisation name: UnitingCare Harrison
Contact name: Mr Mark Dixon
State: VIC
Contact email: mark.dixon@harrison.org.au
Contact number: 0400549227

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?
In UnitingCare Harrison’s (UCH) experience as a large Youth Homeless provider, is that the biggest barrier for the target groups completing their education, tertiary training and entering employment, especially those who are leaving State care, is the risk of homelessness and the lack of accessible supported and affordable housing.

Last year UCH supported over 738 homelessness youth singles and families clients in our region, most who had dropped out of school, training options and employment due to their insecure affordable housing options.

UCH through our Housing Options Programs Eastern (HOPE) hot desking in three Centrelink offices Oakleigh, Glen Waverley and Boronia, are the first point of contact for many young single and family customers who are attending TAFE and Universities, have just left home, are homeless or at risk and have no income, so are requesting Youth allowance. UCH HOPE staff are also based at two DHHS offices Box Hill and Ringwood where we receive referrals weekly for young parents, young students who are leaving the care of DHHS and are at risk of homeless as they turn 18 years.

UCH goals is to assist these young persons to keep then out of the homelessness services, access affordable supported housing so they can complete their education and then secure paid employment that will make them more resilient to the risk of homelessness through out their lives.

What is your idea?
Linked to our HOPE program is our Aspirational Housing pilot model based on UCH successful “head leased” properties model where the Housing supports and Tenancy workers are based in the same office and meet weekly to archives good support and tenancy outcomes for our joint clients. One Public Housing property “Olive Grove” was swapped into a THM property which UCH managed as a regional Social and THM provider with over 230 properties.

In 2014 DHHS Outer East Region asked UCH to develop a new LC Housing & Support pilot model that:
– would address the lack of resilient supported housing options for leaving care kids
– was cost effective when compared to most Youth Residential staff housing models
– can be adapted to Share gazetted properties for singles and single lease models for young families
– provides a more intensive tenancy and support model of engagement when compared to the current THM service models where support and tenancy services are separated and siloed
– will be an forward thinking model based on their Aspirational rather than where they have been, social deficit model
– will model the significant changes in “Right with Responsibilities” as Leaving Care Kids they move from Youth to Young adults with societies changing expectations
– can be easily expanded if successful based on a new LC service template

The model is heavily influenced by the Youth Foyer model of the “Deal”, Open Talent, “something for something”, “Earn Turn” rather than “Wait Turn” welfare models. UCH also in the background redeveloped our Youth Homelessness support teams to create a LC, Youth Homelessness, Creating Connections, CEEP brokerage & Open Door Family Reconciliation seamless “Team of Teams”. This allows a continuity of support services for LC clients moving from leaving care to youth services and crossing 18 years of age barrier. Turning potential tripping points into points to “Step Up”. For example, Housing is a primary Physiological and Safety need for all, and especially for LC kids soon to turn 18 years of age and leaving care.