The McGowan Government is delivering on its commitment to establish a new 100-bed homelessness service to provide an immediate and culturally appropriate response to rough sleeping in the Perth central business district.
The Department of Communities has secured a lease for 300 Wellington Street in Perth to provide transitional accommodation and supports for up to 100 people experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan area.
The service will operate under the name Boorloo Bidee Mia and provide a low-barrier accommodation option for rough sleepers, as well as tailored supports for residents for the duration of their stay.
It is scheduled to open its doors next month, with the lease commencing on August 1 and capacity to increase over time to ensure effective service delivery.
Boorloo Bidee Mia represents ‘Perth pathway to housing’ in the Whadjuk dialect of the Noongar language and was developed in consultation with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Mia Mia.
Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Mia Mia have been awarded a grant of $6.7 million to implement and deliver culturally informed responses, tenancy management and lodging support to residents of Boorloo Bidee Mia over three years.
The number of people in the facility will vary, depending on the needs and level of support required for clients being accommodated at any one time, as well as demand.
Following consultation with both ACCOs, the 300 Wellington Street site was selected due to its size, layout, location and flexibility to provide residents with spaces that promote safety, wellbeing and healing.
The service will also provide a boost through the creation of local jobs, with a recruitment process currently underway to immediately fill 20 positions across tenancy support, counselling and case work.
Boorloo Bidee Mia will provide vital additional support for people experiencing homelessness in the Perth CBD while the Common Ground facility at the corner of Hill Street and Wellington Street in East Perth is being developed.
The State Government has allocated a total of $45.5 million in the State Budget to this facility, which includes an $8 million contribution from the Commonwealth through the Perth City Deal.
The additional funds will enable the construction of 112 self-contained units, communal areas, on-site support services and commercial space at the site. Previous plans were for a complex of about 70 apartments.
Boorloo Bidee Mia and Perth Common Ground are both key initiatives supporting the State Government’s ‘All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness’. More information on the strategy can be viewed on the Department of Communities website.
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“The McGowan Government already has a number of significant projects in the pipeline to address homelessness across the Perth metropolitan area, but it is clear that an interim response is required while longer-term solutions like Common Ground are being developed.
“The new Boorloo Bidee Mia homelessness facility on Wellington Street delivers on our commitment to provide an immediate increase in the number of beds available for rough sleepers in our city.
“Aboriginal people are overrepresented among chronic rough sleepers – particularly in the Perth CBD area – so the Boorloo Bidee Mia service will deliver a tailored and culturally appropriate response led and designed by local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
“I would like to thank the building owner, Wungening, Noongar Mia Mia, the City of Perth and all stakeholders for working constructively with the State Government to expedite this important initiative.
“Significantly, the McGowan Government has also increased its investment in the Perth Common Ground facility being developed nearby, boosting its capacity to accommodate 112 people once it has been completed.”