The launch week of Geelong Zero coincides with World Homelessness Awareness Day.
Through Geelong Zero, Neami National is bringing together local community organisations to support people rough sleeping in Geelong.
Taking a collective impact approach and an evidence-based strategy, we are working in partnership to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring.
The project will officially launch on Friday, 14 October, at the end of Community Connections Week this week.
During Community Connections Week, volunteers from local organisations and services will work alongside partnering organisations to actively connect with people sleeping rough within the Geelong area and get to know them by name and understand their service needs.
The data collected will form a real-time ‘By Name List’ and a baseline from which to track our progress in addressing homelessness.
The ‘By Name List’ will be used to guide ongoing support, collaborative case coordination and advocacy for rapid housing under the Housing First model.
The baseline findings will be shared with the community at the launch event this Friday.
“Homelessness is a dynamic problem, so we need dynamic solutions to end it,” says Alastair Vick, Service Manager – Towards Home Plus Geelong.
He continues, “Geelong Zero is based on the Functional Zero model, which works to ensure that someone’s experience of sleeping rough is rare, brief, and nonrecurring by quickly supporting them into secure housing.
Achieving and sustaining Functional Zero for one population, such as people sleeping rough, is the first step toward building a system that can end all forms of homelessness.”
Collecting the data during Connections Week will provide a starting point for understanding the health, wellbeing, social and environmental factors facing people sleeping rough in the Geelong area.
This understanding will inform coordinated action in the sector.
Ongoing tracking will let us know which strategies are working and where to invest our time and resources for the biggest impact.
“We know when people don’t have access to safe and secure housing it can significantly impact their ability to find work as well as affect their health and wellbeing,” said Bill Mithen, CEO, Give Where You Live Foundation.
“Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Give Where You Live Foundation is very proud to be providing funding to support the launch of the Geelong Zero Project.
This Project will help to understand the number of people in our community who are sleeping rough so that we can reduce homelessness and reach the goal of eliminating rough sleeping by 2025,” Mr Mithen added.Geelong Zero is funded by Give Where You Live Foundation. Neami National is leading the initiative with support from the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness, the City of Greater Geelong, Victoria Police, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, Gen U, The Salvation Army, Bethany Community Support, Haven Home Safe, Volunteering Geelong, Lazarus Community Centre and The Outpost.
The launch event will be held from 10:15 am to 11:45 am on Friday, 14 October at Geelong City Hall. To RSVP please visit: https://geelong-zero.raisely.com/
For interviews with spokespeople from Geelong Zero please contact: Loretta McGill, via email or phone 0400 847 709