Site chosen for homeless project

Announcing the spot: Community services minister Simone McGurk, Perth state Labor MP John Carey and Perth city council commissioner Gaye McMath. Photo supplied.

A SITE’S been chosen at the corner of Hill and Wellington Streets in East Perth for the Common Ground housing block for homeless people.

The Common Ground model lets people stay in self-contained homes as long as they need and provides them with intensive support services, and has seen good results in other cities. The current model only offers people short-term emergency housing, which often sees them drifting from one provider to another.

Perth state Labor MP John Carey says it’s the best way to end homelessness and “we need to shift the focus away from managing homelessness, to ending rough sleeping.

Rough sleeping

“I understand that so many people want to help… and we see so much effort on distributing food, and goods and services. But at the end 

of the day, if we want to end rough sleeping in the city, then these initiatives are the only approach: That is, getting rough sleepers off the street into supportive accommodation with wraparound intensive support, because you break the cycle of homelessness.”

apartments and Mr Carey says: “This is not a drop in centre.”

He doesn’t expected it will attract trouble. 

Common Ground is intended to operate like Oxford Foyer, the Leederville unit block for homeless youth (and despite early concerns before it opened, we’ve not heard any complaints about residents since).

It’s the first of two facilities, and designs are still to come, and construction isn’t scheduled to start until the 2021/2022 financial year. 

In the meantime, Mr Carey said a more immediate measure on the way was to provide 50-beds for temporary accommodation, intended to be available within a month. Over $1 million of WA government money will go into that program, run by Uniting Care West, Ruah and Noongar Mia Mia. 

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