Following on from last Thursday’s COVID-19 Taskforce on Homelessness meeting, please see below the key issues covered and actions going forward:
- Co-Chairs workshop with Nous Group
This robust session involving the co-chairs from all nine taskforces provided a pulse check of our work so far, the progress made and our path forward. The co-chairs were provided with key information to underpin this work, including Terms of Reference, Partnership Principles and Communications and Stakeholder Strategies. Their feedback has been received and these strategic documents are being updated accordingly to soon be shared broadly with all taskforce members.
- Preparing for the “new” normal
With limited community spread of COVID-19 and restrictions continuing to be eased, the Taskforce discussed the logistics of a staged return to face-to-face service delivery, with many agencies having moved to phone and online support during the pandemic. The support agencies will need to transition to business-as-usual was also considered. Digital engagement has delivered mixed success, ensuring continued contact during isolation for people with access to devices and data, however others have withdrawn from service contact increasing their risk levels.
- Scenario planning
As part of the Taskforce Plan development, work will commence on developing strategies to respond to potential future COVID-19 outcomes, for example cluster outbreaks or second wave spread. The scenario planning will be incorporated into the Plan to ensure an agile response in the event of such a likelihood, and provide reassurance to community services as they begin to resume normal service delivery.
- Broadening data collection
It was agreed formal and informal data should be collected to develop a more accurate and single headcount of people sleeping rough across Perth, and the state more widely. The taskforce will engage voluntary homelessness services, WA Police and Local Governments for information to ensure the most complete picture possible of Western Australia’s homeless cohort.
- State Welfare Emergency Committee (SWEC)
In response to questions about the work and processes of the SWEC, I have agreed to invite Incident Controller, Jason Beeley to attend a future Taskforce meeting to provide an update to the group.
The next Taskforce meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, 14 May.
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Taskforce on Homelessness