Following on from last Thursday’s COVID-19 Taskforce on Homelessness meeting, please see below the key issues covered and actions going forward:
Homelessness Taskforce Plan
As the COVID-19 situation in WA continues to evolve – we’ve come a long way from the health crisis we anticipated six weeks ago – and we now move into a recovery phase, it was agreed the plan will be a working document as a standing agenda item for the Taskforce. It will emphasise timeframes, outputs and the authorising environment for temporary accommodation responses arising from the current crisis and future impacts. It will also factor in anticipated impacts from the winding back of State and Federal Government initiatives such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
Data Collection & Analysis
The taskforce acknowledged the need for accurate quantified information from the number of people experiencing homelessness, as well as the availability of supported accommodation. This will also inform the modelling commenced by the Department of the social impact of Coronavirus. Various Taskforce members are working together to gather information and data to gain visibility of the emerging issues and number of people newly homeless, and to identify latent or underutilised accommodation that could be activated.
To ensure greater alignment across taskforces on Aboriginal Partnerships, I will be meeting regularly with Jacqueline Littlejohn, while Patrick Ryder has been invited to attend the Taskforce meetings fortnightly. Co-chair Gordon Cole will work with Patrick to ensure a cultural lens is applied to the Taskforce plan and other initiatives.
With the risks for people in this particularly vulnerable cohort a concern for the Taskforce, it was agreed to elevate the Congregate Living action plan to the Taskforce to pursue. Taskforce sponsor Helen Nys will ensure social impact modelling considers the cohort.
Hotels with Heart
A draft evaluation of the trial initiative was shared amongst the Taskforce. It was discussed how learnings from this and other COVID responses can be used for future crisis responses, in step with the Government’s Emergency Accommodation Plan. The final evaluation report is currently being prepared for the Taskforce.
The next Taskforce meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, 7 May.
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Taskforce on Homelessness