Increase in number of high acuity clients with secure housing
The journey out of homelessness is not always linear. Many of our clients require multiple engagements with Launch Housing services before they find their permanent home. We continue to support our clients throughout their journey and build trusting relationships to help them progress on their path out of homelessness.
Our work contributes to the SDGs
We expect that people will move in and out of housing, and other services, over a period of time because of the various dynamics that impact their life: the homelessness services system, inadequate public housing, the competitive nature of the private rental market, and the complex issues clients face in their everyday lives.
Many of the issues that people experiencing homelessness face might be familiar to the broader community, for example, managing your diabetes every day. However, trying to manage complex conditions or poor health without a home is extraordinarily difficult and can quickly worsen the conditions people are dealing with, making everything even harder to manage. It’s a spiralling cycle that can only be broken through a secure home in which to live.
Across Victoria, 105,510 people were supported by a Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) from 2020 to 2021. And 64% of these were return clients.
Increase in the number of high acuity clients with secure housing.
This year, we assisted 433 high acuity clients to find secure housing, which is an additional 44 people, or 11%, compared to last year. This increase comes primarily from our Homelessness to a Home program clients who have been housed in our properties, or properties that we manage.
Number of high acuity clients who were housed last year seeking support this year, also called return clients.
For the first time, this year, we are recording the number of high acuity clients, previously housed, who have come back to our services. Over time, we want to see a decrease in the return rate for these clients and an overall increase in the number with secure and sustained housing.
We know that complex clients often need multiple engagements with the homelessness service system to make progress before they settle into their ‘forever home’ with longer term support.
We also know that a lack of appropriate, well-located social housing can make it difficult to find these ‘forever homes’, as many complex clients with a long history of homelessness need the permanency of social housing.
As social housing increases in the long-term and the housing first principles can be properly applied, we expect the number of people who have experienced long-term homelessness with the associated complexities to decrease.
After this, we expect instances of homeless to be brief, rare and non-recurring, and therefore make considerable progress to ending homelessness.
This year, Launch Housing supported 50 of the 389 high acuity clients who had been housed last year through provision of emergency accommodation and/or stays in our crisis sites. This is around a 13% ‘return rate’ and is likely to be an underestimate as clients may have sought support from other organisations. The long-term aim is to push this return rate down through sourcing of appropriate housing continued provision of ongoing support services for as long as needed.
We will continue to delve deeper into the ‘return back into service’ story to better understand the progress that clients make and the challenges they face maintaining their tenancies to enable us to provide a more client-focused response.