Anglicare WA has today been successful in securing almost $900,000 in Federal funds to run an innovative program in Western Australia to assist homeless people into employment.
Funding for the grant was confirmed this morning at a media launch on the South Perth foreshore with Federal Employment Minister Senator Michaelia Cash.
The Minister met with Anglicare WA acting chief executive Mark Glasson and staff members from Anglicare WA’s youth services to confirm the Commonwealth’s commitment and to praise the approach being taken with this initiative.
Mr Glasson said Anglicare WA had proposed applying a Human Centred Design (HCD) approach to the challenges in employment for homeless young people.
“Young people experiencing homelessness are amongst those most at risk of long term unemployment. The experiences of trauma, transience and disconnection from communities severely hamper young people's ability to maintain firm connections with education or employment,” Mr Glasson said.
Mr Glasson said Anglicare WA’s HCD approach to this complex issue involved working closely with those affected in a more personal way rather than a ‘top down’ approach.
“This funding will allow us to establish a mobile, outreach-based service that targets young people experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan area.
“Through this we will combine employability skills and career development in the crisis system, and move to one-to-one support in the transitional system to assist young people's access to employment and to maintain their engagement once there,” Mr Glasson said,
Utilising the HCD approach and working alongside Edith Cowan University's Design Department, Anglicare WA will co-design this service provision with young people and the wider sector to find the key innovations that enable successful outcomes.
“The HCD process will find the most successful methods for using new technologies to engage young people in the employment space, whether that’s developing employability or staying connected to support structures. We believe this use of technology will have wide application across youth support and employment sectors,” he said.
In 2008, FAHCISA's The Road Home report emphasised the need for homelessness services and employment services to work closely together to improve employment outcomes.
“Anglicare WA agrees with this assessment and our HCD approach builds on this,” Mr Glasson said.
The project will involve an initial eight month Human Centred Research and Design process before implementing a program that aims to service at least 100 young people in the latter 16 months of this two year project.