‘20 lives, 20 homes Freo’: The $1.4m project to give vulnerable a ‘pathway out of homelessness’

Fremantle Gazette

5th August 2019.

The State Government has partnered with the private sector on a $1.4 million project to provide long-term accommodation for homeless people in Fremantle.

Community Services minister Simone McGurk said the two-year “20 lives, 20 homes Freo” project involved government, local service providers and businesses and would give vulnerable people sleeping in Fremantle a pathway out of homelessness.

“This is a project that is marked with a level of cooperation between all layers of government, local and State,” she said.

“This is a $1.4 million project but the lion share of money has come from the private sector and coordinated through Sirona Capital.”

Outreach and intensive support will be delivered by St Patricks Community Support Centre and after-hours services provided by Ruah Community Services.

The Government will contribute $395,000 to trial a private rental subsidy that will give people experiencing homelessness a new way to access housing.

Participants will be charged weekly rent but it will be subsidised at 25 per cent of household income.

The project comes after the success of the “50 lives, 50 homes” initiative in the Perth metropolitan area.

Ms McGurk said as of the middle of last year, the “50 lives, 50 homes” project had housed 147 people in its three years of operation.

“It was after seeing the effectiveness of that housing first approach that I knew Fremantle as a community would be interested in picking up this approach as well,” she said.

An independent evaluation of that program found 88 per cent of participants were still in housing three years later, they spent less time in hospital and the number of offences committed among those who had offended prior to being housed, fell significantly.