In November 2021 Noongar Mia Mia launched the Noongar Housing First Principles.
Titled Noongar Cultural Framework and Noongar Housing First Principles there development not only assist Noongar Mia Mia but other housing providers and support service providers to create culturally safe environments and housing and support services for Noongar people experiencing homelessness, their families and communities. The Housing First Principles for Australia (HFPA) was used to guide the Noongar Housing First Principles (NHFP).
Shelter WA sponsored a successful WA Alliance to End Homelessness funding application to Lotterywest for a COVID-19 Grant. The project scope was to engage with Aboriginal people and housing and homelessness service providers to develop a Housing First model that is tailored and best responds to First Nations People.
In addition to the generosity of Lotterywest, the author acknowledges the WA Alliance to End Homelessness, Shelter WA, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, Housing Choices WA and RUAH who supported their employee’s participation in the project.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise around a third of people experiencing homelessness. The Lotterywest grant included funding to partner with Aboriginal homelessness and housing providers to ensure that the Housing First model is culturally led and informed for First Nations people experiencing homelessness.
This was in response for the need for rapid culturally informed and culturally led piece of work, to ensure that Housing First is tailored to best respond to First Nations People. The approach supports the focus of All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020–2030 and is centred in the principles of Housing First with a key outcome of access to safe and permanent housing is the first priority for people experiencing homelessness and individualised support services are available to help people maintain long term housing and achieve their goals.
The principles of Housing First are designed on what “best practice” response works for Aboriginal People who have experienced chronic homelessness to obtain a home and maintain their tenancy.
It reflects a process which encompasses the cultural knowledge, understanding and experiences that are associated with a commitment to Noongar (Aboriginal) ways of thinking, working, and reflecting, incorporating specific and implicit cultural values, beliefs and priorities from which Noongar (Aboriginal) standards are derived, validated and practiced.
Watch Sandra Harben’s presentation
The research was conducted by Sandra Harben at Noongar Mia Mia and were endorsed by the Telethon Kids Institute Ngullar Coorlungar Elder co-researchers.
There are six principles. The principles are as follows:
1) Noongar people and their families have a right to a home with cultural connections to boodjar, moort and kaartdijin.
2) Support is flexible, culturally appropriate and is available whenever needed.
3) Choice and self-determination with no cultural compromise.
4) Culturally appropriate active engagement through kwop daa.
5) Support focuses on strengthening wirrin.
6) Social, cultural and community inclusion.
To help assist with the application of the principles three case studies are included to show actual examples of how housing providers and support service providers have used a practical application to gain positive outcomes.
You can read the document here.