- 100-bed homelessness service in the Perth CBD
- Provides a low barrier accommodation option for rough sleepers
- Apart of the state government's long-term strategy to combat homelessness
The WA state government has announced its commitment to establish a 100-bed homelessness service in the Perth CBD.
The Department of Communities has secured a lease for 300 Wellington Street in Perth to provide transitional accommodation and supports for up to 100 people experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan area.
The service will operate under the name Boorloo Bidee Mia (which means “Perth pathway to housing” in the Whadjuk dialect of the Noongar language) and provide a low-barrier accommodation option for rough sleepers, as well as tailored supports for residents for the duration of their stay.
The 300 Wellington Street site was approved after consultation with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Mia Mia.
This development comes amidst reports of increasing rental stress across WA, which have led to calls for more affordable housing as the risk of homelessness has increased across the state. It is a key part of the state government’s ‘All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness’. The strategy aims to:
- Improve Aboriginal wellbeing;
- Provide safe, secure and stable homes;
- Prevent homelessness;
- Strengthening the coordination between the government and community sectors in their response to homelessness problems.
The priorities outlined to achieve these goals include:
- Providing people with low barrier accommodation;
- No wrong door approach, where people can get help regardless of the service;
- Immediate targeting of those sleeping rough;
- Collaborate with business and philanthropy to deliver flexible housing options;
- Developing placed based responses according to local circumstances.
This also comes after South Australia recently implemented their new suite of funding strategies aimed at combatting homelessness – which were considered the boldest reforms to the state’s homelessness services in more than a decade.
Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Mia Mia have been awarded a grant of $6.7 million to implement and deliver culturally informed responses, tenancy management and lodging support to residents of Boorloo Bidee Mia over three years.
Community Services Minister Simone McGurk, said the homelessness facility delivers on the McGowan Government’s commitment to provide an immediate increase in the number of beds available for rough sleepers.
“The McGowan Government already has a number of significant projects in the pipeline to address homelessness across the Perth metropolitan area, but it is clear that an interim response is required while longer-term solutions like Common Ground are being developed.”
“Aboriginal people are overrepresented among chronic rough sleepers – particularly in the Perth CBD area,” Ms McGurk explained, “so the Boorloo Bidee Mia service will deliver a tailored and culturally appropriate response led and designed by local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.”
The facility is scheduled to open its doors next month, with the lease commencing on August 1 and capacity to increase over time to ensure effective service delivery.