Mandurah’s community services sector, in partnership with the City of Mandurah, launched the Mandurah Homelessness and Street Present Strategy (2021-2023) last week, uniting to deliver a collaborative approach to support homeless and street present people in the city.
People experiencing homelessness in Mandurah have shared their lived experiences to help the local services sector develop a coordinated approach towards homelessness and street presence in the community.
Mayor Rhys Williams said the new Strategy aimed to break the cycle of homelessness for up to 80 people currently living rough in Mandurah, and support vulnerable people in the community.
“Homelessness is a challenge for all of us. It can affect anyone, at any stage in their lives, from any background, and that’s why we all have a role to play,” Mayor Williams said.
“In partnership with our local services sector, we want to take meaningful, positive action to help people that are struggling to get back on their feet, and ensure there is a place for everyone.
“Having a sector-led strategy means we’re well placed to tackle the highly complex issue of homelessness. A great deal of effort and coordination has gone into how we need to address this, which shows a high level of trust, integration of services, and planning.
“The main missing piece of the puzzle is housing, so the biggest priority is to assist homeless and street present people with access to affordable housing and support services.
“We’re thankful to the State Government for its commitment to the Housing First initiative, and the Common Ground housing model, which was confirmed for Mandurah in December last year, and we are committed to working with the Government to see these initiatives come to fruition as soon as possible. This will make a big difference to people in our community.
“Our assertive outreach service will be launched shortly, which will work directly with people in our community experiencing homelessness and connect them with the support services they need during this vulnerable time. We will also soon open the newly built community kitchen.”
A Core Project Team was formed from the Peel Homelessness and Street Presence Network in 2019 to develop the strategy, which includes Anglicare WA, Calvary Youth Services, City of Mandurah, Mandurah Street Chaplains, Peel Connect, Peel Youth Services, Red Cross, Vinnies WA and WestAus Crisis & Welfare Services.
The three-year strategy focuses on four main objectives to tackle homelessness; accessible accommodation, effective support systems, meaningful systemic change, and ensuring safety and security.
“This is all about working together to change Mandurah’s story and redefine our ambition for the future. I commend our community services, agencies and helpful individuals that have come together as our Core Project Team to tackle this head on,” Mayor Williams said.
The strategy is aligned with the State Government’s All Paths Lead to a Home 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030, and includes lived experience information from 60 individuals who are homeless or sleeping rough in Mandurah, to properly reflect community needs.
A street count in July and October last year revealed close to 80 people were sleeping rough in Mandurah, with Mandurah remaining the second highest Local Government area out of the eight participating local governments in the state. Local sector data from March 2019 shows more than 1600 people are vulnerable to homelessness, or are already experiencing it.