The HOME (Hear Of My Experience) Project is a newly commenced capacity building and co-design project with people who have, or are currently, experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to empower them and have a greater voice in policy, advocacy, service design, and the broader WA community.
Shelter WA in partnership with the State Government through a grant from the Department of Finance and support from Tenancy WA have developed the HOME Project.
Training to advocate and educate
The first objective of the project is to complete a sequence of co-design workshops with the participants that will develop their skills and capacity to more effectively engage with and advocate to government and non-government organisations.
Co design toolkit for the housing / community sector
The second objective is to co-design through the workshops a toolkit specifically for these organisations outlining best practice for lived experience engagement, along with ways to approach co-design and capacity building work in the housing/community sector.
The project’s co-design approach will empower the HOME participants to more effectively engage with, impact, and influence government and non-government organisations in the planning of housing and homelessness policy, service design, and other areas. The toolkit produced through co-design will also enable those organisations to appropriately, respectfully, and genuinely engage with people who actually have lived experience of the issue and surrounding services so that their voice is truly heard. The toolkit will include methodologies for engaging a group of people with lived experience in a co-design process, including tangible examples tested and learned through the HOME Project and others.
Overwhelming interest led to all applicants becoming part of the program
Jack Thornton (HOME Project Manager) from Shelter WA and Vachel Spirason (HOME Project Coordinator) from Tenancy WA have been leading the project and are excited to see the outcomes for project participants after the workshop sequence and organisations that utilise the toolkit when produced.
HOME kicked off earlier this year as Shelter WA established an advisory group made up of sector organisations and people with lived experience to support and advise the project as it unfolds. Shelter WA then had publicly available an application process to join the HOME Project as a participant. With 8 vacancies to fill Shelter WA was thrilled with the 17 applicants, all of which were worthy of being a participant, Shelter WA decided to accept all of the applicants onto the program.
Workshops are underway
To date, the HOME Project has completed two co-design workshops that have already generated a lot of valuable input and outcomes to support the production of the toolkit to expand lived experience engagement and advocacy.
The HOME group initially focused on team building, group dynamics and broadly exploring lived experience engagement experiences to set the scene and form a safe and collaborative environment within this work. The HOME group have now developed system and sector mapping to explore the issues and potential solutions surrounding lived experience engagement and broadly ending homelessness in WA. From there the HOME group have begun their own individual journey mapping and skills development blueprint.
The HOME participants together mapped out the homelessness/housing system and lived experience engagement and advocacy in Western Australia, along with their analysis of the issues and solutions, the relevant principles of co-design and the areas surrounding ending homelessness broadly.
In the upcoming workshops, the HOME group will begin taking a deep dive into developing their desired skills (i.e. policy, public speaking, media and advocacy) to empower their sector input and advocacy, and into developing the toolkit for government and non-government organisations. There will be more news to come on future workshops and developments and watch this space in regards to the lived experience engagement toolkit.
Jack Thornton (HOME Project Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org
Vachel Spirason (HOME Project Coordinator) email@example.com