From 29 April 2022, Compass Housing Services became Home In Place.

Compass Housing Services (Compass) has been selected to be part of the NSW Government’s largest housing response dedicated to rough sleepers in the state’s history.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward, said the $36 million Together Home project will deliver stable housing and wrap-around support for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness.

“Part of this initiative is about finding people a place to call home, but the critical next step is supporting them with the services they need improve their health and wellbeing, and to rebuild their lives,” Mr Ward said.

Compass is one of 19 community housing providers who will work with specialist homelessness services and healthcare workers. It will deliver the program in the Hunter region, including initially providing around 30 homes for those currently sleeping rough.

Compass Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Tierney, said Together Home is different to programs run in the past because the funding will be managed directly by the community housing providers.

Ms Tierney said this is in line with the Housing First Model. She said it will help ensure both housing and support services are tailored to the individual.

“It is a similar approach to the philosophy of the NDIS – the funding is attached to a specific person to support their specific needs,” Ms Tierney said.

“With individual case management we can do case planning from the start of a person’s tenancy to help keep a roof over their head,” she said.

“A safe home is vital to people’s health and well-being as well as to help people to work, study and participate fully in the community.”

A safe home is vital to people’s health and well-being as well as to help people to work, study and participate fully in the community.

Compass Chief Operating Officer Lisa Tierney

The program is being implemented as an expansion of the Community Housing Leasing Program (CHLP). Compass and other community housing providers will head lease properties in the private rental market to house people who are sleeping rough. They will engage specialist homelessness services and other support providers to deliver wrap-around, client centred, supports.

Together Home is a key initiative to support the Premier’s Priority to end homelessness and to halve street sleeping by 2025, and aims to transition clients onto a trajectory away from homelessness and into long-term, stable housing. The NSW Government has invested more than $70 million to prevent and respond to homelessness during the pandemic, on top of the more than $1 billion invested this financial year in housing and homelessness support.

Compass is a not for profit, Tier 1 community housing provider managing almost 7,000 properties in NSW and Queensland. It is a member of the Hunter Big Ideas Homeless Network and provides co-ordination for Hunter Homeless Connect Inc’s annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day.

Homelessness statistics

  • The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that 116,42 people were homeless on census night in 2016, representing 50 homeless people per 10,000. 1,750 of those were experiencing homelessness in the Hunter region.
  • 28,000 Australians between 12-25 years old are experiencing homelessness every night.
  • A survey conducted by volunteers at the 2018 HHCD event revealed that for the third straight year, women outnumbered men among those seeking assistance. The 40-54 age group (combined) represented the largest number of attendees.
  • 145,000 Australian households are waiting for social housing.

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