3 May 2023
The Hon. R.A. SIMMS. Can the Minister for Human Services advise:
1. What is the response time for outreach homelessness services under the SA Homelessness Alliance model?
2. What was the response time for outreach homelessness services before the SA Homelessness Alliance model was introduced in 2021?
3. Can the minister verify that the Hutt Street Centre had an outreach response time of four days before the SA Homelessness Alliance model was introduced?
4. Does the minister believe that the SA Homelessness Alliance model has been successful in improving outcomes for people experiencing homelessness?
The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries): The Minister for Human Services has advised:
Assertive outreach services under the SA Homelessness Alliance model are predominantly delivered across the City of Adelaide. Outreach services coordinated by the Toward Home Alliance (THA) in the City of Adelaide deliver up to three coordinated outreach shifts each day.
Toward Home: Wardli-Ana' is an Aboriginal-specific homelessness service that delivers a mid-morning outreach shift between 10.30am and 12pm five days a week, in coordination with the Department of Human Services.
The 'Toward Home: Resolve' team deliver a morning outreach shift between 7:30am and 9:30am, as well as an afternoon shift between 4:30pm and 6:30pm seven days a week every day of the year. After becoming a formal partner of the Toward Home Alliance in July 2022, Hutt Street Centre staff have been embedded within the 'Toward Home: Resolve' team.
Prior to each shift, the THA coordinates outreach activities using information and referrals from Street Connect (web-based rough sleeper reporting tool), Adelaide City Council, Department of Human Services and Homeless Connect (24/7 homelessness support phone service). The maximum response time to this information is 12 hours, with workers able to be despatched faster in response to high-risk situations, although response times prior to 2021 are not available.
Through the alliance model, several collaborative assertive outreach responses have been activated in communities outside the inner city, including Mt Barker, Holdfast Bay and Port Adelaide. These responses are important to try and better support people in-community experiencing homelessness, and to reduce the necessity for people to travel into the inner city to access services and supports.
Prior to becoming a formal partner of the THA in July 2022, Hutt Street Centre had not operated an outreach response since November 2017 although data on response times for this service are not known.
Staff across the alliances and the broader homelessness sector are passionate and caring people who deserve our support and thanks. Prior to the introduction of the alliance model in July 2021, the then Labor opposition raised serious concerns about the impact of the procurement process on the sector and the very short transition period that presented significant challenges for establishing service models and client handover. Despite these challenges, the alliances have performed well in the face increasing demands on homelessness services.