‘Most complex’ rough sleepers to move into Adelaide supported housing

South Australia’s most vulnerable rough sleepers will be moved into renovated public housing units staffed by health and security workers as part of a 15-month State Government trial beginning next month.

Jun 17, 2021, updated Jun 17, 2021
Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Between 45 to 60 people deemed the state’s “most complex” rough sleepers will be offered short-term public housing at the Holbrooks site in Brooklyn Park, where they will receive onsite support from SA Health workers.

Tenants will include homeless people with “complex behaviours” who returned to sleeping on the streets after the Government put them up in hotels over the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

They will move into 18 units at the Marion Road site, which have recently been renovated ahead of the 15-month trial starting on July 1. Other units at Holbrooks will remain as mainstream public housing.

The Government hopes that once the tenants leave, they will be able to move into independent accommodation.

Uniting Communities has won the $1.7 million government tender to deliver the service – called “Housing for Health” – which was announced in the 2020-21 State Budget.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink described the program as a “state-first initiative” that would help more South Australians into longer-term housing.

“We developed this new service following our swift response to accommodate South Australians experiencing homelessness at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which led to a record 250 people being placed from motels and into housing,” she said.

“Of those supported during the pandemic, there was a group of our most vulnerable South Australians with complex behaviours that did return to rough sleeping and these are the people we are specifically targeting with this new service.”

SA Health will provide outreach drug, alcohol and mental health support to the tenants, while Uniting Communities is set to offer case management support.

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The SA Housing Authority has also installed security cameras throughout the site, as well as access card technology to the 18 units, laundry and community areas.

Mobile security guards will also patrol the area.

A townhouse located on the Holbrooks site will be used as office space for staff.

Uniting Communities CEO Simon Schrapel said the service aimed to overcome the barriers rough sleepers face when trying to access services.

“We understand the barriers that may limit a person’s ability to access appropriate support and will work with both clients and service providers to deliver the outcomes needed to drive improved, long- term health and housing outcomes,” he said.

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