Vulnerable rough sleepers to receive state-first intensive support

Our most complex, vulnerable rough sleepers will be given a roof over their heads and intensive, wrap-around services as part of a state-first initiative supporting more South Australians into safe, stable and long-term housing, opening next month.

The new $1.7 million Marshall Liberal Government initiative will support between 45 and 60 vulnerable South Australians off the streets and into short-term accommodation over a 15-month trial period.

While at the Brooklyn Park accommodation, clients will be provided with onsite support, including health and mental health services, ultimately with the aim of helping our most vulnerable maintain independent accommodation when they leave.

This initiative is a joint partnership between the SA Housing Authority and SA Health.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the service begins on July 1 and will be run by Uniting Communities.

“Our unique, state-first initiative will support our most complex, vulnerable rough sleepers and give them a roof over their heads and wrap-around support, with the aim of helping more South Australians into longer-term housing,” said Minister Lensink.

“We developed this new service following our swift response to accommodate South Australians experiencing homelessness at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which led to a record 250 people being placed from motels and into housing.

“Of those supported during the pandemic, there was a group of our most vulnerable South Australians with complex behaviours that did return to rough sleeping and these are the people we are specifically targeting with this new service.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Marshall Liberal Government had worked with the Chief Psychiatrist, Drug and Alcohol Service SA and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network to develop the specialised health services.

“As well as providing safe, short-term accommodation, SA Health will be providing outreach drug and alcohol and mental health services to clients, many of whom have complex needs, such as mental health or addiction issues,” said Minister Wade.

Uniting Communities will provide tenant support, assisting them with living skills and providing case management to coordinate services providing care.

Uniting Communities Chief Executive Officer Simon Schrapel said the new service aimed to overcome the barriers many complex, vulnerable rough sleepers can experience accessing services.

“We understand the barriers that may limit a person’s ability to access appropriate support and will work with both clients and service providers to deliver the outcomes needed to drive improved, long-term health and housing outcomes,” said Mr Schrapel.

The Marshall Liberal Government recently undertook upgrades for 18 units and a townhouse on the site, to be used as office accommodation for staff.

Security upgrades include security cameras through the site and access cards to the 18 units, the laundry and community areas for additional security. Mobile security guards will also be patrolling the site.

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