COVID-19: Help for homeless in Logan
- 5 May 2020 4:13PM
Teams in Logan are working together to provide extra support to people in housing need during COVID-19.
Through the Wesley Mission’s Supporting Those At Risk of Homelessness (STARH) HomeStay Program, people who are homeless or sleeping rough are being helped thanks to extra funding available via the Queensland Government’s immediate response fund.
Alicia is the manager of the STARH HomeStay Program. The program helps people to sustain their tenancies, make connections in their communities and develop life skills.
Alicia says she and her team normally work closely with the team at the Logan Housing Service Centre but with the enhanced funding and shift to helping people sleeping rough, she’s talking to the team daily to identify people in housing need.
She has seen many positive outcomes from the program, but her recent work with client Geoff* particularly stands out. Within a week and a half of meeting Geoff, Alicia and the team at the Logan Housing Service Centre team found him a place to stay and got him set up for the future.
“Geoff had been sleeping in his car for over a year on and off,” she says. “He’d had stints staying with acquaintances and in crisis accommodation but found it hard to keep a place due to alcohol dependence and behavioural issues.”
“We got him into a motel, provided him with food and fuel vouchers, phone credit and other essential items,” says Alicia.
Alicia says Geoff was working casually but was saying no to shifts because he couldn’t access a shower before work with public amenities closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Once he moved into the motel, he started having hot food, and a good night sleep, he was feeling much better and was able to go back to work.”
From there the Logan Housing Service Centre worked with Geoff to find a longer-term place for him to live.
“He had connections in Logan so we centred our search locally,” says Alicia. “I helped coordinate the process of viewing the property, and once he got the keys we helped him access household items like a fridge, bed, microwave and linen.”
The Logan Housing Service Centre secured a 1-bedroom apartment for Geoff, and Alicia says he was incredibly thankful.
“He was stoked,” she says. “He couldn’t wait to show off his house to us. He said he felt like he’d won the lotto.”
Alicia’s team and the Logan Housing Service Centre will continue to support Geoff to sustain his tenancy.
“Many people we work with have been housed before but they haven’t been able to sustain it. We work with our clients to minimise the risk of them losing their place again, whether it be mental health, domestic and family violence, drugs and alcohol issues, then once they’re ready, help them engage with specialist services.”
Alicia says that the work she has done through HomeStay with the Logan Housing Service Centre is incredibly rewarding.
“I know we’ve changed Geoff’s course of his life, and now we are working to keep him on this positive trajectory, to keep him on track to a positive future.”