It’s operated by Neami, a non-government organisation, and funded by us and Housing NSW. Part of the program includes health care, provided by St Vincent’s Hospital in partnership with Neami and funded by the federal government.
Way2Home is made up of 2 teams:
- The assertive outreach team that includes community rehabilitation and peer support from workers who have experienced homelessness. The outreach team offers support from the first point of contact on the streets right through to independent living. The client determines the conditions and goals of the support provided.
- The homeless health outreach team includes specialists in mental health, drug and alcohol issues and medical care with links to a range of other health workers. The health team works closely with the assertive outreach group.
The housing first approach is based on the philosophy that people should be able to enter long-term housing without first having to meet prerequisites such as sobriety or treatment compliance. Housing is provided first and support services required to help a person recover and thrive are negotiated with the client and provided to them in their housing.
Based on a model established by Dr Sam Tsemberis, CEO and founder of Pathways to Housing, New York, this approach has been widely adopted across the world and extensively evaluated in peer reviewed academic articles. Housing First has an impressive record of success in assisting people with very complex needs to sustain their housing.