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Planting seeds for transformation

Planting seeds for transformation

Planting seeds for transformation

10 May 2019

The Up Front Intervention Team - Sara, Rachael, Lucy, and Keith - is about being there for people at critical times in their life journeys and working with them to change and grow.

By Simone Worthing

“Planting the seeds for transformation, offering hope, and walking alongside people in their journey is what we do here at Pindari Services,” said Anne Wilson, Regional Manager, Accommodation and Homelessness Services, Brisbane City.

Quoting Pindari’s motivating philosophy, Anne says she and her team demonstrate this passion for people “by being there when they need us most and providing an environment where people are challenged to change and grow.

“We know that God is in our work and we join him in people’s life journeys that can and do result in transformation.”

One such program helping to redirect people’s lives is the Up Front Intervention program, led by Keith Van Haeften, Accommodation and Homelessness Team Leader.

A specialised team of four people provides immediate intentional support and housing options to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing stress. This could be through the community housing network, or in the private rental market.

“A big part of the role is to provide emotional support,” explained Keith. “We support them at whatever point they’re at in their journey, and offer hope.

“Part of this process is ongoing intensive case work, as well as helping meet physical needs through access to food, showers and medical support.”

So far, the program has delivered some “solid” outcomes, with 61 per cent of people going into the private rental market, and 66 per cent accessing other accommodation.

“The relationships we create with other stakeholders – such as the Department of Housing and Community Housing programs, are important, as they contact our caseworkers when accommodation becomes available,” said Keith.

“We have a flexible service delivery focus. We look at private rental first, not ‘pigeon-holing’ people by looking at social housing as their only option.”

This program also extends to people throughout the region, from the Gold Coast to the south, Sunshine Coast to the north and Toowoomba to the west.

“Most of our case work is done over the phone, and begins at initial contact,” said Keith.

“Not everyone who calls us is homeless. Some are experiencing mental health issues or a range of crises. We look at people on a case-by-case basis.

“Our case workers understand the challenges people face when they don’t have permanent or safe accommodation, so it’s a big innovation having a team that is ready and able to work support people through the process and provide aligned services along the way.

“This includes removing the barriers for all – including those who have no financial resources, women who’ve been trafficked or are escaping domestic violence, or those waiting for a visa.

“The Salvation Army’s homelessness programs are now much more aligned than they have been, with team leaders from all over the state interacting to provide a fluid leadership team.”

Based in Pindari Services, the Up Front Intervention team shares space with men’s and women’s accommodation, veteran’s support program, education program and partnership program in collaboration with other homelessness agencies.





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