Inclusion

Data and anecdotal evidence suggest systemic settings do not enable existing services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula, people who are completely excluded from community participation.

MPF has responded to local people and organisations over the last four years by funding what they have said is required. This covers services in crisis, assertive outreach case management and prevention, on both the Western Port and Southern Peninsula sides.

All services have collected significant data. This is helping to inform our approach as we know more about the numbers of people involved and their situations. We have seen dramatic changes in through programs with all credit to the people doing the work, people who are committed, compassionate, skilled and collaborative.

We see that it is relationships and community connections that enable sustainable change for individuals but that this requires a rethinking of the service model and of how it is funded. We hope to influence the decision making process through the data and stories and voices of people who are experiencing the inadequacies of a system that we believe, and that our data show, does not have to be that way.

MPF’s most significant support has been of small, local organisations, who have flexibility and insight to do what is needed, not what is funded.

 

Programs currently funded by MPF are described here. As in education, however, these locally based organisations constantly work with others to build cohesive networks of support across their communities, building stronger and stronger systems to support sustained change.

SPLASH (Southern Peninsula Laundry and Shower) and Homeless Connections are run by the Southern Peninsula Community Support Centre.

SPLASH provides biweekly connection on the Rosebud foreshore for people who are rough sleeping, in rooming houses, in cars, etc. With a meal and opportunity to shower and wash clothes, the program offers personal connection for people who are often intensely isolated.

 

Homeless Connections

extends the connections made at SPLASH through intensive case management, providing a wide range of support as required by each client, integrated with other services. The collaboration driven by the local workers is a key element of the success of this work, as is the client led approach. As a small, nimble agency, staff are able to respond to specific needs and navigate the system to achieve maximum outcomes for clients. Outcomes and sustainable change are the focus.

 

Western Port Housing and Homelessness 

is a local service in Hastings provided through the Western Port Community Support Centre. A hive of industry and activity, this grass roots, local Centre provides emergency relief as well as in house services including housing and family support. MPF has been involved for over four years having started a small pilot to see what small amounts of specifically targeted funds could do to prevent people at risk of homelessness becoming so. We were so impressed with their data collection, we gradually increased engagement and have remained as impressed with this work at every stage.

The program now encompasses prevention, crisis intervention and case management and is the only housing program on this side of the Peninsula. The data collection has been outstanding and analysis with WhyHive has enabled it give invaluable insights that have guided not just this program, but all of our work with respect to this issue on the Peninsula. 

SAFE Peninsula (Secure Accommodation for Everyone) is provided by New Pen Community Care and is focused on prevention.

When people are at risk of becoming homeless but have capacity to participate in the private rental market, they are supported through an early intervention mediation service that addresses issues before they escalate. To date 175 individuals and families have been supported with 89% retaining stable, secure housing. Many of these people would otherwise have descended into the crisis service system, where demand already well outstrips supply and where the potential to remain in crisis rather than regaining independence increases in line with the time in crisis

Data insight reports on all programs will shortly be available in the Data Hub.

MPF is a Public Benevolent Institution with Deductible Gift Recipient Item 1 tax status. All donations are tax deductible. As all operational costs are covered by the George Hicks Foundation, 100% of donations are distributed as community grants.