The opportunity to provide a more holistic housing service to people at risk of homelessness is greatly welcomed by Settlement Services International (SSI), after the announcement today by Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward that SSI has been selected to provide Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA) in the Illawarra.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the decision by NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) to move away from using low cost motels and caravan parks for temporary accommodation was a great step toward achieving better social outcomes for vulnerable people.
“Capitalising on SSI’s strength and expertise to provide a person-centred approach means we can support people with some of the complex challenges that create barriers for them to find a long term home,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
“SSI tenants are linked to and directly assisted by our expert staff – many who are also bilingual and bicultural – that not only address the immediate needs, but also support people to gain greater independence and stability,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
SSI is a registered Community Housing Provider and has delivered a range of housing services since 2013, and in the last financial year provided more than 20,000 bed nights of emergency housing.
SSI Executive Manager Housing Patrick Yeung said that the SSI STA service delivery model – Step Through – will build upon the existing success and innovation of its Emergency Housing Assistance initiative, and be delivered in collaboration with local Specialist Homelessness Services providers and NGO’s.
“Step Through will ensure properties are suited to tenants’ particular needs including people with disability, people with increased safety and security concerns if they are escaping a domestic and family violence situation for example, or large extended family groups,” said Mr Yeung.
“SSI will work closely with local Illawarra real estate agents to source and secure properties for temporary accommodation as well as long term housing for people exiting the program. Housing and support staff will based in the SSI Wollongong office, because face-to-face contact is an important component of our client-centred approach.”
SSI Corporate Communications; Rekha Sanghi; 0422 304 578