Feros Care’s Housing and Homelessness project
A FAMILY CONNECTION HAS PROVIDED THE PERFECT THREAD FOR BINDING SUPPORT AND BOLDNESS THROUGH A FEROS CARE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS PROJECT IN ADELAIDE.
Mentioning the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) project designed to assist the homeless, community housing organisations, tenants, and those seeking access or an understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to her partner’s grandmother, Elsie, Feros Care Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Jess Williams didn’t expect such a caring and giving outcome.
Devising a plan to knit and show her support, Elsie got to work instantly, on her way to producing 55 beanies in various colours and three different patterns for donation.
Delivering the beanies to homeless support Adelaide Day Centre, Jess and project lead Amelia Farrow were able to deliver more than just hope and warmth, with the beanies producing smiles for all involved.
“Nana volunteers for Meals on Wheels and it was a really kind gesture for her to reach out and offer to knit the beanies of a night and in her spare time,” Jess said.
“When we delivered them, the impact was instant, and it was so great to see faces light up… People were so grateful, and the centre sent out a big “thank you” card to Nana and she was so grateful in return.
“The beanies will be donated to people as part of the centre’s soup drive, so they’ll be able to make a big difference.”
HOW INFORMATION, LINKAGES AND CAPACITY PROJECTS ARE CHANGING LIVES
While the beanies were an icing on the cake, the project’s aim of improve lives in the homeless and public and community housing communities in Adelaide and surrounds has the scope to make a big impact, after being devised by Amelia over 12 months ago.
Coming from a background in public housing prior to joining Feros Care, Amelia had identified the need for a better understanding of the NDIS, and the need to educate people on how best to find and receive support.
“It was evident a lot of people weren’t receiving adequate supports as they didn’t understand the NDIS or whether they were eligible,” Amelia said.
“People who may not understand the system or the scheme, and there’s families out there who are homeless and don’t have any housing or disabled services assisting them,” Jess added.
“So, we’re here to assist people to gain access to the NDIS and the supports they need, and even if they don’t have disability or meet NDIS access, we still help to link or refer them to community and mainstream supports. “
FEROS CARE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE
As well as engaging individuals, the project is designed to provide support and information to housing and homeless service providers. Through interactive workshops and coming up with ways to connect in the current climate, the project has been a crucial tool in assisting housing and homeless providers to be better supported, so they can in-turn provide better support for their tenants and clients.
“We liaised with community housing organisations to gauge where they were lacking knowledge around the NDIS. To coincide with that, we held catch ups and conducted surveys, and identified where the gaps in knowledge were and where they were needing the most support,” Amelia said.
“We were going to host workshops, but in the current climate we had to change those plans, so we’ve done things like host an interactive workshop where we explained what the NDIS is, what the role of an LAC is, and broke down an NDIS plan so people could gain insights and an understanding of what they mean.
“It was attended by over 70 people from public and community housing providers, and next we’re looking at hosting a follow up, so housing and homelessness providers could contact us to ask any ongoing questions they may have.
“Then they can support their clients and tenants in a timelier manner; whether that’s getting them on NDIS or getting them support if they already have a plan.”
Outside of generalised and NDIS support, Amelia said the information provided could improve tenancies and living conditions.
“There can be personal safety issues through behaviours or if properties aren’t being properly maintained, and that can create risks or complaints,” Amelia said.
“We can help with linking to supports and service like yard maintenance, social support and personal care to manage that.”
“If someone needs occupational therapy but doesn’t meet NDIS requirements, we can refer them. A lot of things are accessible and available, so we want to help with additional support and not just for people with a disability,” Jess added.
The Housing and Homelessness project is just one of 25 ILC projects Feros Care are utilising to help link people to local services.
A crucial cog in the engagement and stability of the NDIS, all the projects are focussed around building the capacity of people living with disability, their families and their carers.