In January 2012 The Salvation Army employed a Primary Homelessness Support Worker to help the growing number of people sleeping rough in the Greater Hobart area. Street2Home (S2H) is the only program in Southern Tasmania working in this way.
S2H helps people who would not otherwise use mainstream services – or may have been barred from them – for reasons including undiagnosed/unmedicated mental health issues, problematic substance use, and physical or intellectual disabilities. As well as searching out the homeless wherever they are living, our worker, Ebony, frequents places where they may go – e.g. No Bucks (soup kitchen), food vans, drop-in centres etc.
For the past four years S2H has developed a broad network of collaborators in the Homelessness Response Group (HRG). The group has a wide variety of services, from housing to psychology and everything in between. The HRG focuses on a number of homeless clients with multiple and complex needs, and work together to create a case plan and act on it for each individual.
S2H has developed close working relationships with community partners – the kind of people who will often see people sleeping rough. So (having done a training course with us) a Hobart City Council worker, or a gardener, might see a person who obviously has nowhere to go, and then let us know about it.
Ebony and Peter also works closely with Tasmania Police, who now understand that there are services that they can refer people to. They often contact her with information about rough sleepers.
Sleeping Out for the Salvos is the major annual fundraiser for the S2H social program. Support from Sleepers and sponsors alike are vital for S2H to continue in Southern Tasmania. The target of $100,000 will allow the program to continue for another 12 months. Should this target be exceeded then The Salvation Army would be in a position to review and hopefully expand the program in Tasmania.