More than 9,000 people in Western Australia are homeless according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 1,000 living on the streets. In 2020, Fremantle’s “tent city” shed light on WA’s growing number of rough sleepers and along with it the State’s ballooning public housing waitlist.
Recently in May, our Financial Capability Team, including our Emergency Assistance Program Support Workers, Financial Counsellors and Senior Leaders, attended a team development day in Fremantle alongside likeminded sector agencies to collaborate and learn from each others’ services that work to build a community where all people can live secure and independent lives.
Hosted by Communicare and attended by teams from St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, WACOSS and the Financial Counselling Network; presentations allowed our people to gain insights around Perth’s current homelessness challenge due to the housing crisis and increasing incidents of family and domestic violence.
The day further developed our team’s knowledge and understanding of how current social issues are being addressed by government at a policy level as well as what the sector is actively participating in to advocate for positive changes.
Sharing our experiences with other community services organisations provided our team with the opportunity to rethink our service delivery and has been thought provoking in their desire to seek improved outcomes for our clients through possible operational changes.
One of our Financial Counsellors, Roslyn Retallick, said of the day, “It was good to see how other community support agencies work, the array of services that are needed by their clients and how they have provided services in a compassionate way – it continuously encourages us to do better every day.”
Ongoing opportunities to learn and develop like these days out will ensure the breadth of our services continue to create safe and inclusive communities that empower all people to participate to their full potential.
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