Evaluation of the Melbourne Street to Home Program

The Melbourne Street to Home project was funded for three years as part of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. This is the final evaluation report and it updates the information presented in two previous reports (Johnson and Chamberlain 2012, 2013).

The aims of the program were:

1 The ability to secure positive outcomes with the long-term homeless is closely tied to the resources available to a service and how these resources are used. A clear strength of the Street to Home model is the capacity of case workers to provide intensive support both before and after the participants have secured housing.

2 The integration of community health nurses is an important strength of the Street to Home approach. Not only does this provide rapid access to health assistance, but it has also broken down the barriers that commonly exist between health and specialist homelessness services. The findings confirm that the provision of health care does not resolve chronic medical conditions, but it does enable people to manage them more effectively.

3 The most pressing problem for Street to Home is finding suitable housing for the clients. Housing options in the inner city are limited and the failure to integrate the provision of housing into the model is a major policy oversight. It is imperative that future policy discussions take into account the need for ‘housing first’ services to have access to good-quality housing. If this could be achieved it would be a major step forward.

Read the full report here: Evaluation of the Melbourne Street to Home Program: Final Report