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Homelessness

We share the vision for Western Australia to follow in the footsteps of many communities, cities and states to significantly reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. A major step towards this goal, will be achieving ‘functional zero’ homelessness. The term describes a city in which homelessness has become manageable, and the available services and resources match or exceed demand for them.

All levels of government must collaborate, show leadership and commitment, and work from a shared agenda to achieve this vision. There is no single solution to reduce rough sleeping in the City of Perth. The City supports Housing First Initiatives implemented by the Department of Communities which provides accommodation and wrap around supports to people sleeping rough in the Perth Metropolitan area. The Housing First Approach requires access to suitable and affordable accommodation at the right time. It can take many months and sometimes years for a person to be housing ready.

On 27 April 2021, City of Perth Council endorsed a Rough Sleeper Plan. 

The plan has 6 key priority areas;

  • Advocate for resources and services to support people experiencing rough sleeping in the City of Perth 
  • Coordination of services in the public realm
  • Improving connection of people sleeping rough to support services 
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of people sleeping rough 
  • Understanding rough sleeping trends in the City of Perth 
  • Improve the community’s understanding and awareness of homelessness, particularly rough sleeping. 
  • Who to contact

    It is important to inform the correct authority, so the specific matter can be addressed, where:

    • Information on how the City of Perth is assisting homelessness and where local government fits into the overall architecture of homelessness can be sought via info.city@cityofperth.wa.gov.au or 9461 3333 
    • Littering and blocking walkways or thoroughfares (including blocking via begging) - to be reported to the City of Perth on 9461 3333 and assisted by the Rangers.
    • Cleanliness, urination and smells – to be reported to the City of Perth on 9461 3333 and assisted by Waste and Cleansing (noting public urination is an offence and if witnessed, is a WA Police matter).
    • Anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drugs, intimidation, public disturbance, appearance of mental health, assault or threats – to be reported to WA Police on 131 444 or 000 for emergencies. (You can also report matters anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or seek assistance from City Watch Surveillance Centre on 9461 6611 or 9461 6666 for emergencies).
    • Volunteerism, community goodwill, donations and other pathways to help – to contact peak bodies Volunteering WA, WACOSS, Shelter WA or a not-for-profit organisation.

    The City of Perth works in collaboration with State Government, Department of Communities, WA Police, local government authorities, peak bodies, not-for-profit organisations, faith based and goodwill groups, and the whole of community to work together and strategically align to ending homelessness.

    If you currently need assistance regarding homelessness or accommodation please visit AskIzzy or ERConnect for support or Entrypoint for accommodation. The following sections provide detail on homelessness initiatives.

  • Priority Area 1 – Advocacy; 

    We recognise rough sleeping cannot be solved by one organisation alone. The City of Perth is committed to delivering within its role and responsibilities to support people sleeping rough. To achieve long term, sustainable outcomes for people sleeping rough, the City must advocate for the availability of resources and services which contribute to reducing homelessness across the continuum.

    The City of Perth with make a targeted and concerted effort to advocate for:

    • Increased appropriate and affordable housing supply to support the Housing First Initiative.
    • Increased transitional accommodation with wrap around support services.
    • Improved funding allocation of homeless services and support services across Local Governments reflective of the number of people sleeping rough in the municipality.
    • Increased funding towards mental health and drug and alcohol services for people experiencing homelessness (intra departmental collaboration – housing, health, justice, mental health, communities – both in strategy and operations).
    • Increased culturally appropriate short stay accommodation for people off Country
    • An urgent review the effectiveness and accessibility of the Patient Assisted Transport Scheme (PATS) 
    • Increased funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO) to provide culturally appropriate and Aboriginal led services.
    • The development of a strategy on Youth Homelessness (Including youth at risk)
    • Increased Commonwealth income support (i.e. Newstart Allowance)
  • Priority Area  2 – Coordination of services in the public realm

    All service providers and goodwill groups who wish to deliver homeless services in the public realm in the City of Perth, are required to apply through the Accreditation Process of Homeless Services in the Public Realm. The City continues to work with providers and goodwill groups to provide services either at Moore Street Accreditation site or in a roving capacity, depending on approval. The process coordinates groups and services providing support to people experiencing homelessness within the City of Perth to;

    • improve accessibility to essential services;
    • ensure safe standard of services delivery;
    • reduce duplication of services provided;
    • identify gaps in service; and
    • and best utilise the sectors’ finite resources.

    A person experiencing homelessness can accesses food, health services, hygiene services and donations of essential items at one place, one time. The single site of service delivery and standard time of delivery improves accessibility for people who are experiencing homelessness. Service operate at Moore Street Monday – Friday 5pm – 8pm and on Sundays 8am -11am.  

    Please visit our Accreditation Application form to be considered to deliver services in the City of Perth. The City will support applications that do not duplicate existing service delivery at the Accreditation Site, Moore Street.  

  • Priority Area 3 - Improving the connection of people sleeping rough to support services

    Homeless Services in the Inner City Brochure 

    The City of Perth has a comprehensive understanding of available support services within the city. The Homeless Services in the Inner-City brochure was developed to assist people experiencing homelessness, or those at risk of experiencing homelessness, to access support services available to them.
    The brochure is updated annually and includes information on crisis assistance, where to find free and low-cost meals, pathways to employment, counselling and legal services. 

    The brochure can be ordered by completing the Homeless Services in the Inner-City order form and returning to info.city@cityofperth.wa.gov.au

    To add your organisation’s services and contact details to the brochure, please contact Community Services via info.city@cityofperth.wa.gov.au

    Culturally Appropriate Assertive Outreach

    The City of Perth has contracted RooForce Facility Service to undertake culturally appropriate outreach within the City of Perth. The team is out providing specialist services and engaging with the community seven days a week. 

    Project Zero and the By Name List 

    The City supports the ‘By Name List’ and the Project Zero which align with the WA State Government’s Housing First Initiative.

    The ‘By Name List’ used by Project Zero team, records up-to-date information about the number of people experiencing homelessness in the community and tracks their movement in and out of homelessness. By knowing people by name and what supported they require, the sector can target direct initiatives to support out homelessness. Through current data, bottlenecks in the system can be identified, and shared programs can be used to address these.

    Project Zero is a collaboration of organisations working together to end homelessness in the Perth metropolitan area. The approach aims to achieve ‘functional zero’ for rough sleeping in a city using a combination of quality real-time data and service coordination. Functional zero is achieved where there are enough services, housing and crisis beds for everyone who needs them. As a result, homelessness is rare and for those that experience it, it is short-lived and one-off.

  • Priority Area 4 - Improving the health and wellbeing of people sleeping rough

    Safe Night Space (Women’s Only) 

    The City of Perth Council is committed to resolving homelessness in Perth as an urgent priority. On 3 November 2020, the City took the first step to address the immediate need for action with Council’s endorsement to develop a Safe Night Space (women only) at 160 Hay Street, East Perth as a two-year trial.

    A Safe Night Space is a place where people can rest, access basic facilities, seek support and connect to services in a safe and secure environment. Safe night spaces improve the health and wellbeing of people sleeping rough and facilitate engagement with appropriate services during the day.

    The Safe Night Space (women’s only) will support 30 women each night, operating 7 days a week from 7am – 7pm. Ruah Community Services have been appointed as the successful service provider to lead the delivery of this much needed service. 

  • Priority Area 5 – Understanding rough sleeping trends in the City of Perth

    We experience the highest concentration of rough sleeping of any Local Government in the Perth Metropolitan area. There are a variety of factors which can influence rough sleeping in the City and the hotspot locations. By understanding the trends of rough sleeping in the City of Perth, we can work in collaboration with all stakeholders on prevention and intervention strategies.

    The City of Perth undertakes a count of people sleeping rough within its boundaries. The count occurs twice per year on a nominated night in March and September between 1am and 3am. 
    Point-In-Time Counts, alternatively referred to as Street Counts are a measure of the number of people on sleeping rough on a specific day (the point in time reference).

    The City of Sydney and other Australian capital cities have been conducting street counts for several years using a methodology which allows for consistent data collection and for this data to be compared with previous counts.

    If you would like to volunteer for a City of Perth street count, please register your interest via info.city@cityofperth.wa.gov.au or via 9461 3333. 

     
  • Priority Area 6 – Improve the community’s understanding and awareness of homelessness, particularly rough sleeping in the City of Perth. 
    We will aim to raise community education and awareness of homelessness by utilising a range of different techniques and platforms. It is an opportunity to elevate public awareness of rough sleeping in the City of Perth and to understand the various roles and responsibilities we all play to address rough sleeping and to support and advocate to end rough sleeping in Western Australia.
  • Previous Homelessness Plans
For other information please contact Community Services on 08 9461 3333 or info@cityofperth.wa.gov.au