March 7, 2016

Journey to Social Inclusion

Sacred Heart Mission is embarking on the second stage of its Journey to Social Inclusion program (J2SI), with the government funding contributing to a third of the overall $3.69m cost of the three-year program. 

The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia is conducting the impact and economic evaluations using a randomised control group so it can benchmark outcomes for J2SI participants against a group using existing services. The recruitment of participants for the second phase is currently underway.

The Mission is investing the remainder itself, with a portion coming from philanthropy. The J2SI pilot that ran from 2009 – 2012 delivered impressive results demonstrating that by taking a different approach to what is currently available, the cycle of long-term homelessness can be broken. A study undertaken a year post the culmination of the three year study showed 75 percent of participants remained in stable housing after four years, 80 percent had seen a decline in the need for health services and the study offered savings to government of up to $32,080 per participant.

Based on findings from the pilot, the program is being refined, and expanded from 40 to 60 participants and geographically beyond St Kilda to include Melbourne’s inner-north through partnerships with St Mary’s House of Welcome and VincentCare (Ozanam Community Centre).

Professor Paul Flatau, Director, Centre of Social Impact said that his team is proud to undertake this long-term study.

“The study will look not only at quantitative data, but importantly, qualitative data, to really understand the individual stories of those who experience chronic homelessness, and to make their transition into housing a sustainable one," he said.

"This is without a doubt one of the most robust and extensive research studies on the impact of a critical intervention and support program that we have seen in Australia, and indeed around the world," Paul said.

For more information, go to the Sacred Heart Mission J2SI website.

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