Community Services Minister Simone McGurk has marked the start of Homelessness Week 2021 with an announcement about the McGowan Government co-funding initiatives to address homelessness in local communities.
Under the new $6 million Local Government Partnership Fund for Homelessness, the State Government will provide one-off financial co-contributions to projects that are identified and led by local governments to respond to and prevent homelessness across Western Australia.
The fund encourages partnerships with local governments to ensure there are responses to homelessness in their communities that are locally designed, coordinated and implemented.
Grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 in value will be awarded through four annual funding rounds, with applications for the first grant round opening during Homelessness Week on Tuesday, August 3.
The fund supports implementation of All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness and provides a mechanism to establish local cross-sector partnerships that drive innovative responses to homelessness.
In 2021, Homelessness Week runs from August 1 to 7 and aims to raise awareness of homelessness in the community with a national theme of ‘Everybody needs a home’.
The call for applications for the Local Government Partnership Fund for Homelessness, which delivers on a McGowan Government election commitment, comes ahead of the State Government’s new homelessness facility at 300 Wellington Street in Perth opening later this month.
The service will operate under the name Boorloo Bidee Mia (Perth pathway to housing) and provide a low-barrier accommodation option for rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness in the Perth metropolitan area, as well as tailored supports for residents for the duration of their stay.
A further $45.4 million, including an $8 million contribution from the Commonwealth through the Perth City Deal, is being invested in the delivery of the Perth Common Ground supported housing facility being developed at the corner of Hill and Wellington streets near Royal Perth Hospital. This funding will enable the construction of 112 self-contained units, communal areas, on-site support services and a commercial space.
This year, the State Government’s $34.5 million Housing First Homelessness Initiative is also being rolled out in Bunbury, Geraldton, Mandurah, Rockingham and Perth, with service agreements now in place with community service organisations to source a range of housing options for individuals and families and link them with support services to help them avoid a return to homelessness.
More information on All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness is available here: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness.
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“As a result of the work the State Government has been doing with local governments to help address homelessness around the State, there has been growing acknowledgement of the role that they can play in delivering solutions.
“This $6 million fund will encourage State and local government partnerships that involve local decision-makers identifying and driving responses that are tailored to their area.
“These additional responses, delivered at a local level, will build on the McGowan Government’s unprecedented projects to support and accommodate people experiencing homelessness in Western Australia.
“This Homelessness Week, we commit to continue working in partnership with the homelessness services sector, local governments, business and communities towards a WA where everyone has a safe and comfortable place to sleep.”