City of Mandurah advocate for more homelessness support

The City of Mandurah is hoping to help Mandurah's rough sleepers such as Bondy through an assertive outreach trial and permanent housing. Photo: Supplied.
The City of Mandurah is hoping to help Mandurah's rough sleepers such as Bondy through an assertive outreach trial and permanent housing. Photo: Supplied.

With a rough sleeper count in March identifying 84 people living on the streets, the need for outreach services and more permanent housing options has become a "number one priority" for the City of Mandurah.

Since 2019, the City has sought state government funding for an outreach trial project, which would provide street present people with a number of support services.

A two year assertive outreach services trial is now set to commence later in 2020 after the council noted the in-kind support from Police Minister Michelle Roberts at its July 28 meeting.

With $350,000 in CCTV for Mandurah already funded from another source, money was freed up for the outreach trial proposed by Mandurah MP David Templeman and the City of Mandurah.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams says the services would help homeless people tackle the complex challenges they face. Photo: File image.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams says the services would help homeless people tackle the complex challenges they face. Photo: File image.

Now awaiting final approval, Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said the assertive outreach services would help homeless people tackle a number of challenges.

"A lot of people that are street present, particularly the ones in the city centre, face really complex challenges and to be able to tackle those challenges they need to have a connector," he said.

"We've received some funding from the state government to implement an outreach service, which is about connecting people to those that are street present to then connect the dots to the services they need."

Now seeing a gap in adequate crisis accommodation, the City of Mandurah is pushing for more permanent housing options given that a key success factor for outreach services is the availability of housing and wraparound services.

All the research around the world is very strong that the way you break the cycle is by providing a house and providing economic empowerment.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams

With state funding set aside for a Housing First Homelessness initiative, Mr Williams said he was advocating for the second common ground facility to be built in Mandurah.

This facility would provide a person experiencing chronic homelessness with access to permanent housing that is linked with relevant support services to overcome complex histories.

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"Our advocacy to the state government around increased provision and housing in Mandurah is really important and is something we're going to be making sure happens," he said.

"All the research around the world is very strong that the way you break the cycle is by providing a house and providing economic empowerment.

"This is not a shelter, this is about a permanent home and economic empowerment to break that homelessness cycle - it's about giving that person a chance to get ahead in life."