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My Place: A National Homelessness Demonstration Project

Citation

Habibis, D and Goss, DN, My Place: A National Homelessness Demonstration Project, Commonwealth Dept of Family and Community Services (2003) [Contract Report]


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Abstract

This report is an evaluation of a one-year National Homelessness Strategy Demonstration project funded in the 2005–07 round. The My Place project, operated by Anglicare, Tasmania, was implemented in two regions of Tasmania: the Northern region, where Launceston is the main city, and the North Western region, where Burnie and Devonport are the main cities. The project commenced in May 2006 and will end in December 2007.

The project had two main goals. These were:

• to reduce the incidence of homeless resulting from periods of acute mental illness; and

• to establish protective factors against accommodation breakdown for people with mental illness at risk of homelessness.

The project’s primary target group was people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of their mental illness. It identified this group as being especially hard to serve and therefore at risk of being excluded from services. Individuals within this group are likely to be compromised in their ability to have their basic needs met by SAAP and other services. A specific goal of the project was to reach people moving through acute psychiatric services since they are at an especially vulnerable point in relation to maintaining housing stability. The episodic nature of their illness impairs their capacity to maintain their accommodation during periods of acute psychiatric care, placing them at risk of losing their tenure and becoming homeless. This risk is exacerbated if they are discharged from hospital without discharge planning which takes account of their needs for accommodation and income support. At the point of discharge they may also lack the capacity to access vital support services. Hospital staff are also not well informed about how people can access these services. By focusing on intervention at the point of acute hospital care it was hoped that the program would assist in the development of systems that would work across the housing and mental health sector to address these needs.

The project aimed to establish strong linkages with statutory mental health services, especially acute psychiatric wards and community mental health teams. This was essential to identify people at risk and to obtain timely and appropriate referrals. It was envisaged that community mental health teams would be able to refer to the project clients who were either homeless or were in established accommodation with a history of unstable accommodation and being transient. This would enable the project workers to establish a good rapport with clients and to take a holistic approach to ensure their accommodation remained stable even if they experienced relapse.

Item Details

Item Type:Contract Report
Keywords:homelessness, mental illness, psychiatric illness, intervention
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Mental Health Services
Author:Habibis, D (Associate Professor Daphne Habibis)
Author:Goss, DN (Mr Daniel Goss)
ID Code:81404
Year Published:2003
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-12-04
Last Modified:2012-12-04
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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