Some of the partners involved at the commencement of the 500 Lives 500 Homes campaign in 2014

Next week, the 500 Lives 500 Homes Campaign will be celebrating a successful first year at a breakfast for the CEOs of partner agencies involved in the campaign. The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Ms Leeanne Enoch, will also be attending.

The 500 Lives 500 Homes Campaign is a coalition of more than 30 government and non-government agencies who have set themselves the goal of housing 500 individuals and families over 3 years. The agencies work closely together to break the cycle of homelessness by first getting people into housing, and then ensuring they have the resources to sustain their housing, create a home and be connected to their local communities.

Working together to end homelessness has resulted in 168 individuals and families being housed since the campaign began in April 2014.

According to Karyn Walsh, CEO of Micah Projects (the backbone organization of the campaign), a key factor in the success of the campaign is its strong, collaborative ethos.   The first year has not only delivered real housing outcomes, but created new and innovative relationships and partnerships between agencies across government, community and business.

These relationships seek solutions for the lack of affordable housing, and look at ways that people receive services such as healthcare and community services when they are housed so as to improve their quality of life and to sustain their tenancy.

Speakers at the breakfast will highlight these successes, and include the Asthma Foundation of Queensland, North West Youth Accommodation Service, Street to Home and the Department of Housing.

According to Ms Walsh, “By surveying people who are homeless, we get to know them not just by name but also by their circumstances – those who are living on the streets, in cars, in emergency accommodation and in insecure tenancies.

“For many people, homelessness can be resolved by being linked with affordable housing but there are others who require healthcare, family support and personal care. We need new approaches on how we link housing and services to enable people to live as independently as they can, but with the services they need in line with their personal circumstances which may include chronic disease, disability, poverty, mental illness, addictions, domestic violence, absence from school, unemployment and social isolation.

“By working together, we are also making the best possible use of scarce resources and across the whole of government and community, and we are working towards a Community Action Plan to end homelessness,” said Ms Walsh.

More info: www.500lives500homes.org.au