A PROGRAM launched in Bendigo yesterday aims to provide people families at risk of homelessness with long-term homes.
Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards toured six new properties made available as part of Haven; Home, Safe's Housing Direct initiative.
The initiative pairs families with intensive case management support and affordable rental housing.
Provided they stick with the program, Haven; Home, Safe chief executive Ken Marchingo said the properties would become their long-term homes.
"The cost to the community of keeping people homeless, particularly young families, over a lifetime can be ten times the cost of building someone a house," Mr Marchingo said.
"It's a boutique solution for a particular part of our client group."
Prospective participants will be referred by Anglicare, Bendigo District Aboriginal Co-operative, and the Centre for Non-Violence.
They will receive two years of case management support, with six-monthly evaluations.
“Our case management is both practical and holistic support to vulnerable people to stay housed long-term," Trudi Ray, HHS's chief operations officer, said.
"We know that wrap around service support enhances the chances for people to sustain housing and create greater connections within the communities they live."
HHS chair Sue Clarke said the Housing Direct program would set people up for success.
She expected people receiving case management support through the program to see an improvement in their financial stability, as well as their ability to focus on their health and connectedness to community, family and friends.
The Department of Health and Human Services supports the $2.7 million program.
HHS first launched Housing Direct in October, in Geelong.
It hopes to extend the program to Echuca later this year, with a further two units.
The program was inspired by Haven; Home, Safe's Sidney Myer Place initiative, which also pairs housing with support services.
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