As part of Homelessness Week, the City of Melbourne gave a boost to the important work cohealth does to tackle homelessness. cohealth has been awarded three grants funded through the City of Melbourne Pathways Innovation Fund 2018 which supports innovative, high impact ideas to make an enduring difference to homelessness in Melbourne. Over the next 18 months, cohealth will embark on three key projects to help tackle homelessness.
Sleeping Rough Harm Minimisation
Rough sleepers experience health and legal issues that can often trap them in the cycle of homelessness. There are no resources that focus on empowering people to reduce their risk of exposure to these issues when sleeping rough in the CBD. Working with a targeted reference group, this project will co-design a resource or solution that reduces the health and legal risks associated with sleeping rough. This resource will help establish the minimum safety and wellbeing required to engage people in support or housing options to transition out of homelessness.
Connecting and Reconnecting Through the Senses
Connecting and Reconnecting Through the Senses is a therapeutic group project aimed at reducing distress for people experiencing homelessness through sensory modulation. Sensory modulation is an evidence-based intervention for people experiencing psychological distress and emotional dysregulation. Transitioning out of homelessness has its own set of challenges. This pilot project will help address these challenges through the development of skills that will form the foundation for taking care of oneself and one’s home, and participating in community life.
Women Against Homelessness
Lack of social support, domestic violence, substance misuse and poor mental health are all significant contributors to homelessness among women. With our partner, Womens Circus, the group will meet monthly to practice circus skills and develop social supports. The aim of this program is to allow women to set their own personal goals in a safe, non-competitive environment and for women from different backgrounds to work together.
The Pathways Innovation Fund allows us to support people experiencing homelessness in creative and innovative ways. Over the next 18 months, we will be working to deliver community based solutions to help make a lasting difference to the lives of those experiencing homelessness.