With a strong commitment to addressing the complex issues that lead people to experience homelessness, Vinnies WA highly specialised services Passages Youth Engagement Hubs and Tom Fisher House often work together to further support young people and adults with pathways out of homelessness.
Passages Youth Engagement Hubs in Perth and Mandurah, and Vinnies Tom Fisher House both provide services to address the underlying causes of disadvantage and homelessness. They do this through their unique Low Threshold and Change approach, which reduces barriers but can maximise someone’s opportunities to find, access and engage with support services.
For street present young people, Passages Hubs are places to access essential needs such as showers, laundry facilities, a
kitchen and computer and internet access. They are a safe supportive environment where young people can receive
individualised support, life skill development, information and referrals and access to specialised visiting agencies.
Located only a few streets away from the Perth Passages Hub is Vinnies Tom Fisher House, which provides a 7 night stay for people experiencing homelessness aged 18 and over. Young people can be referred to Vinnies Tom Fisher House for a safe place to sleep and an expert evaluation of their situation. The referral process takes into consideration many factors that can be present at the time for both the young person and their entry into Vinnies Tom Fisher House, which ensures they have the best opportunity to receive intensive support that they need.
Both services often work together to provide a pathway for young people who are homeless. Chrissie Smith, Manager of Vinnies Homelessness Services says that access to accommodation for young people with complex needs is extremely limited.
“It is very easy for a young person to become entrenched into an adult cycle of homelessness due to the limited availability of accommodation services. The ability to be able to refer Passages clients to Tom Fisher House, or put Tom Fisher House clients in touch with youth workers from Passages is incredibly valuable so a young person can feel totally supported and strengthen their opportunities for engagement with services.”
“We recently had a young 20 year old woman with complex mental health issues referred to Vinnies Tom Fisher House. We organised for a youth coordinator from Passages to meet her during her stay so she could be linked with the appropriate age supports. The relationship and trust built up with her from both Passages and Tom Fisher House staff, meant that when she finished her 7 night stay, she was able to continue her engagement and access to services through the connections made with Passages.” Chrissie said.
The safe environments of both services allow young people to build capacity and empower them to make decisions due to the success of the Low Threshold and Change model. Chrissie says that presenting young people with a non-judgemental environment when they are disconnected and vulnerable is essential to helping them on their journey for change.
“In the case of the young woman, she was able to achieve strong outcomes because she felt accepted and supported in a
positive and safe environment.”
These highly specialised services support people to build a path way out of homelessness. Passages Hubs in Perth and Peel can be accessed by any young person aged 12-25 however Vinnies Tom Fisher House is a referral only service.