The Road Home Project helps people living in crisis accommodation by providing mental health, medical and legal services where they are, and when they need it the most.
This three-year pilot project is funded by philanthropy* and is designed to test how First Step can scale its work to include housing. It is being independently evaluated so that we can determine the extent to which it improves the health and wellbeing of clients in crisis accommodation, understand what enables or hinders effective collaboration and integration, and can advocate for sector change.
We began the project in late 2021 by partnering with Launch Housing East St Kilda (LHESK), a women’s only emergency housing facility. We set up a system of collaborate practice between housing support staff and First Step practitioners to provide health (general and mental) and legal services one day a week, free of charge.
‘This program has the potential to change the direction of women’s lives. We (at LHESK) have a primary focus on achieving a positive housing outcome but that’s not always what is front of mind for clients, and we can’t always help with those other complexities. To have those services on the doorstep to address client’s other needs in a timely manner is invaluable so that the case managers can focus more on housing.’
- LHESK Site Manager
Just recently, we extended the pilot to a second Launch Housing site in South Melbourne that provides emergency housing accommodation to families, most of who are women with children. Using the window of opportunity that is afforded by being in crisis accommodation, we are empowering our clients to work through and manage crisis in a supported way.
‘I’ve reconnected with my two children, the supports from First Step have really, really helped me.’
- Launch Housing client
*Thank you to all of our funders, we simply couldn't do what we do without you: