Housing with Support



During Homelessness week, I was honoured to be invited to speak at the Housing Ends Homelessness breakfast in Cairns, thanks to Anglicare Northern Queensland.

The above slide was part of my presentation. This is a diagram I drew up about homelessness and where the intervention point’s are.

Starting at the left hand side – we know where people enter into homelessness and why. Some of these are systems (exiting Guardianship of the Minister (GOM), prisons, hospital and mental health facilities) – we know who these people are, where they are and when they are about to be exiting onto the streets. These systems can change these outcomes. The changes in SA to the foster care payments to cover people until they are 21, instead of cutting off at 18, will make a difference to the number of young people exiting Guardianship into homelessness, is an excellent example.

Others occur on an individual basis – poverty, domestic violence (DV), mental illness, drugs and alcohol. This requires larger systemic reform (#raisetherate of Newstart will dramatically address homelessness due to poverty and enable people to rebuild their lives). Likewise legislatvie change around DV – perpetrators being removed rather than survivors, people being able to find out if their new partner has a DV background, will go towards prevention.

The next intervention point is at the point of homelessness. Sometimes people just need a little support or guidance to enable them to “save” a tenancy and not fall into homelessness. Dollars spent at this point save a person having to go through the trauma of becoming homeless and having to start again – and save the community the costs of that process as well.

The other intervention end is the service supports that begin in the recovery phase of the homelessness “system” and for some people, need to continue once they are housed.

University of Queensland data shows it is $13,000 cheaper per person per year on average to have a person housed in social housing with supports, than for them to be homeless.

Housing first, but housing with supports.


Louise Miller-Frost

Catherine House CEO

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