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New social impact investment to help most vulnerable avoid homelessness

Last published on 03 May 2019 in Media releases

Mission Australia will deliver a $20 million NSW Government program helping people leaving hospital and other health facilities avoid homelessness.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the Home and Healthy program will address a known danger-zone for people at risk of homelessness.

"Too often, we hear of people walking out of hospitals and health facilities without anywhere safe or permanent to go," Mr Ward said.
"Nobody should find themselves in this position, and the NSW Government is proud to partner with Mission Australia to deliver a program that focuses on early intervention to find people in hospital the support they need to live independently after they leave.

"Under social impact investment, we work with service providers like Mission Australia to agree goals and outcomes for program participants, and payments are made when these outcomes are achieved.

"Payment for outcomes is a sensible way for us to do business and incentivises all involved to focus on achieving good results for vulnerable people," he said.

CEO of Mission Australia James Toomey said the program would allow them to work with health facility staff and engage with people who are at risk of homelessness while they were still in a medical facility.

"This program will start to connect health facilities and housing, with a focus on preventing those who are exiting hospitals, mental health facilities and alcohol and other drug treatment centres from becoming homeless," Mr Toomey said.

"Once they are suitably housed, we will keep working alongside them to support them to engage with work, connect with their local community and not slip into homelessness," he said.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said NSW was a leader in developing social impact investment partnerships, with around 16,000 vulnerable people benefitting from the NSW Government's portfolio of investments.

"Our partnership with Mission Australia will support people at a critical juncture in their lives, it will help them secure a roof over their head and get back on their feet," Mr Perrottet said.

"Social impact investments have a track record of delivering top quality services for people, strong returns for investors and the best value from taxpayer dollars. "This program is possible because the NSW Government has committed more than $1 billion to tackle homelessness across the next four years to fund new and existing initiatives," he said.

Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich welcomed the announcement.

"I've had constituents struggling to get back on their feet after a stint in hospital. This program makes the vital link between hospital and safe supported housing for people at risk of homelessness," Mr Greenwich said.

"I'm grateful for the government's investment in preventing homelessness by connecting the health and housing needs of vulnerable people," he said.

Home and Healthy will be rolled out in Sydney, South Eastern Sydney, Western Sydney and South Western Sydney with plans to support over 1,200 people leaving health facilities over six years. The program will commence in Sydney and South Eastern Sydney in July this year.

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