The service today officially launched its new brand, Keny Miya (pronounced Ken My-ah), which was gifted to the program by elders from the local Wardandi Noongar people, meaning “one home/shelter”. Keny Miya is operated jointly by Anglicare WA, Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation and Doors Wide Open.
Anglicare WA Bunbury Service Manager Cathy Mills said securing housing for five rough sleepers is a significant step towards ending homelessness in the state’s largest regional city.
“Keny Miya is the first dedicated service in Bunbury funded to address homelessness by working alongside people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough,” said Ms Mills.
“Considering the record housing crisis gripping WA currently, it is a massive breakthrough to be able to work alongside five people, who were once chronic rough sleepers, to secure long-term, stable housing and continue to provide individualised support to maintain their tenancies.
“There is still a long way to go; the program is dependent on housing availability, which remains at an unprecedented low in the south-west. Anglicare WA’s recent Rental Affordability Snapshot showed zero affordable rentals for a single person on Jobseeker, the Disability Support Pension or Aged Pension.
“It makes the work of Keny Miya all the more important, as we continue to work with our partners, Breakaway and Doors Open, towards ending homelessness in Bunbury”.
Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation Manager of Communities Kris Penny said her organisation was proud of the work Keny Miya was performing in the region.
‘When Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation was first approached to be a party to the Housing First Homeless Initiative, we saw an opportunity to participate in being part of a service that assists a marginalised and often-times ignored cohort within our community,” said Ms Anderson.
“While it is still in its infancy it is always important to remember that without such advocacy services that provide a voice for the homeless, the issues surrounding and preventing them from securing stable accommodation are not usually able to be addressed by the individual themselves due to a variety of issues that can be impacting them.”
Doors Wide Open Manager Julie-Ann Lorca said her organisation was proud to partner with Anglicare WA and Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation.
“We are working together to support positive outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in the community and we look forward to continuing to support this vital work addressing systemic, chronic homelessness in our community,” said Ms Lorca.
Housing First Homelessness Initiative is a five year, $34.5m program funded by the Department of Communities. The initiative is designed to support people experiencing homelessness into accommodation and provide continued wrap-around support in Perth, Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton.