We have recently completed our House Mates program, a short term project made possible by the generosity of the Bank Australia Impact Fund.

House Mates is a capacity building program that supported people with a mental health condition and/or psychosocial disability to access the information and skills they need to secure and maintain a tenancy. We ran it in conjunction with our existing Pathways program, in which ICLA provides transitional accommodation for up to 18 months to people experiencing mental health issues and homelessness.

We were able to conduct more than 75 individual coaching sessions with participants, facilitate two group activities and review or submit 10 housing applications. We found that some participants believed that their housing applications were active, however, they were on hold for various reasons. Thankfully, we were able to get these reactivated.

As a result of this program, in just a short six-month period, a whopping five of our participants received offers of housing from the Department of Communities and Justice and we had seven people exit the program after securing safe, stable housing. We were also able to provide referrals for, or information about, other relevant services which led to participants being able to access clothing, furniture and free or low-cost food, as well as psychological and social support.

We learnt that practical support and advocacy is absolutely necessary for our participants to be able to achieve their housing goals and as a result, we have restructured our Pathways program in order to continue this level of support for future participants.

Here is what some participants said:

“The support I received was really useful. It helped me to get used to being on my own, be more independent and get more confidence. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get housing if I didn’t have ICLA to advocate for me and help me with that process. I would recommend it to anyone who needs it”

 “Without ICLA, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get my social housing property because they helped me with the paperwork to get back onto priority housing. Because of them I was also able to connect with Neami who helped me to furnish my property.”

 “ICLA have been very helpful and have helped me to learn more about getting furniture, getting housing and communicating with services.”

We look forward to many more success stories from our Pathways program.

Thank you to Bank Australia for generously supporting the House Mates project.