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Wayss Voice November ’22

NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE

Supporting people to break the cycle of homelessness and family violence and to find a secure place to live.

Five ways Victoria and Wayss can lead together this November

In the lead up to the Victorian State election, Wayss is calling for five commitments from the incoming Government:

1. Sustained Investment in Social and Affordable Housing

There is immediate need for investment in social and affordable housing, as well as support services to ensure people stay housed. This must include a proportion of social housing stock allocated for young people, particularly those experiencing homelessness, to overcome barriers they face in accessing housing due to their lower earning capacity and lack of rental history.

Wayss is calling for an investment of 6000 new social housing properties per year over the next 10 years, with at least 600 of these properties being in the Southern Melbourne Region representing an investment in long term housing.

2. Increase Resourcing in the Southern Melbourne Growth Corridor

Current Victorian Government funding allocations do not reflect the demand for assistance in outer metro growth areas in Melbourne’s south east where family violence, homelessness and risk of homelessness has substantially increased in recent years and there are more complex support needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness.

3. Review and Reform the Homeless Service System

Effective homelessness interventions are based on person-centred, flexible, holistic and coordinated case management over a sustained period, with rapid (re)housing and wraparound post-housing supports to increase the chances of people sustaining housing, and to break the cycle of homelessness. An integrated service system response is required with health and wellbeing outcome measures in place to ensure the focus of the system is not only on addressing the presenting issue but is also focused on and tailored to the person.

4. Invest in Early Intervention and Prevention

Prevention and early intervention when people are at risk of, or first become homeless, are two key areas that require focus to stem the flow of Victorians (particularly young people) into the overwhelmed homeless service system. Proactive intervention is needed to mitigate the impact of family violence and prevent homelessness.

Wayss is calling on the Victorian Government to systematically reorient the family violence and homelessness support systems from crisis response to early intervention and prevention.

5. Guaranteed fit for purpose housing for victim/survivors of family violence

In the Southern Melbourne Region, there is only one refuge for families escaping family violence and a comparatively small number of crisis accommodation properties. Wayss currently has 5 properties with a 2022/23 budget commitment to increase that by 1-2 properties. However, this is not keeping pace with demand for crisis accommodation in the area. We desperately need more fit for purpose accommodation.

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Wayss in the 1990s

Then in September 1997 the organisation became WAYSS Limited with a Board of Directors and day to day management by the Chief Executive Officer.

Wayss underwent further transformation with the restructure of community housing and the funding of the Transitional Housing Management (THM) program. The Regional Housing Council ceased operation and transferred direct service operations to Wayss in 1997.

During this decade Wayss became responsible for the then South East Women’s Domestic Violence Outreach Service. Funding was also received to establish a Children’s Services Worker within the outreach service. SAAP funded Women’s Outreach Program was also transferred to Wayss in 1999.