[Sub ID 4389] Community Hub to deliver services (Compass Housing Services)

Submission ID: 4389
Organisation name: Compass Housing Services Ltd
Contact name: Prof David Adamson
State: NSW
Contact email: DavidA@compasshousing.org

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young parents face a number of challenges to entering the labour market and sustaining employment. Barriers can include:
• Interrupted education from early pregnancy with consequent low qualification and skills levels
• Child care barriers to employment caused by both availability and cost factors
• Psychological factors including low self-confidence and self-esteem
The result is often long-term welfare dependency. Compass Housing has conducted a Deep Place study of its social housing community in Muswellbrook South, NSW where over 40% of our tenants are lone parents in a community where, for 94% of tenants, state benefits are the primary source of income. We are planning a community-wide social intervention but wish to specifically target lone parents in a job creation and targeted recruitment and training program. Our ultimate objective is to break the inter-generational transmission of poverty and change the social economic profile of a disadvantaged social housing community. The central tenet of the Deep Place approach is that worklessness is the ‘cause of the causes or poverty’ and that other approaches simply mitigate second level issues without resolving this underlying cause. The program offers considerable policy testing and learning opportunities to inform policy and practice in similar social housing communities in Australia.

What is your idea?
The Deep Place study will inform service delivery to improve the social and employment outcomes of tenants. The study has identified the need for a Community Hub to deliver services to the community. We are developing the Hub in partnership with local providers and the project is in consultation with Muswellbrook Shire Council, Land and Housing Corporation, Family and Community Services and Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW)
Our idea is for a specific service provision in the Hub that address employability of lone parents in the community. The program will include:
• Community development activities targeted at lone parents
• Specific targeted training delivered in the Hub
• The development of social enterprises to provide intermediate employment activities and work experience
• The provision of child-care to support the training activities and future employment of the lone-parents
The program will deploy community development methods to initially overcome disengagement followed by specific employability support, training and work experience. The program will overcome transport barriers and the absence of work experience opportunities in the locality and will create social enterprises, initially in the social care field, to provide longer-term employment opportunities for the ‘graduates’ of the program.