Home help: working to end long-term homelessness

Ending Long-Term Homelessness Permanently: How to Make Effective Links Between Housing and Long-Term Support

After working with the Sacred Heart Mission over four years on the Randomised Controlled Trial of the Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) pilot program, researchers applied for Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage funding in 2014 to extend the study for a further two years.

The ARC funding has allowed the Melbourne Institute's Dr Yi-Ping Tseng, together with Dr Guy Johnson from RMIT University, to track participants for an additional two years after they completed the innovative program.

The project has since been extended for a further year to allow for the analysis of results.

Designed to address long-term homelessness, the J2SI pilot program provides three years of support to people who have been homeless for an extended period of time, including fast access to permanent housing, intensive assistance, case management through a case worker trained in trauma-informed care, therapeutic interventions, and a life skill development program.

Typically, Australian homeless services provide short to medium-term assistance but this approach often struggles to meet the complex needs of the long-term homeless.

By tracking participants over six years, including three years after they complete the program, this study will provide a unique insight into what happens to people after an intensive support programs ends, boosting understanding of what does and doesn't work.

Read the Exchange article on the first phase of the project

Impact

Though there has been considerable government investment in new approaches to end long-term homelessness, there is only limited evidence to support the efficacy of the approaches. Building on the previous four-year study, this project aims to provide new knowledge on what practices and factors generate and sustain positive outcomes for homeless people.

Investigators

Dr Guy Johnson, RMIT University (also a Chief Investigator)

Collaborative Partners