Every night, up to 900 people sleep rough across Perth. And over 9,000 people experience homelessness in WA.
Our service model
It’s never been more important to address homelessness in our community. So we’ve looked at how we can best support people on their journey.
Our service model changed significantly throughout the year as we’ve adjusted to new funding and the changing environment, including COVID. Following a trial of our Tranby Engagement Hub operating 7 days a week, from 7am-7pm, we implemented a cohesive Active Referral and Engagement model in early 2020.
This model better aligned our services – from outreach to accommodation – and also aligns with the No Wrong Door approach. This means that people experiencing homelessness, or who are at risk of homelessness, are supported to find appropriate long-term housing and referrals to support services regardless of which service or agency they connect with.
At 63, disability pensioner Clive became homeless 8 weeks after coming to Perth from his native Scotland. He was in search of his Perth-born children, who he hadn’t seen in several years since he and his wife separated.
Clive, who has mild intellectual and physical disability, was living in a backpackers where he felt vulnerable and frightened. He couldn’t locate his family and was almost out of money. His return airfare was booked for several months later and he couldn’t afford the change fee. He spent one night sleeping rough before being referred to Tranby. Our team found him temporary accommodation, arranged a GP visit and ensured he had food, toiletries and essentials.
We negotiated with the airline for an earlier return flight for Clive a few days later. He was very emotional when he heard about the flight, and said Uniting was now “like family to him” as no one had ever cared for him like this. After a successful trip home, we got a message that Clive was safe and sound.
A significant event in the year was operating Tranby Engagement Hub (Tranby) 24/7 during Homelessness Week 2019. This initiative was a demonstration of what can be achieved when people are provided a safe space to rest and take shelter during the night.