Homelessness support services work with people who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.
They may be:
- in crisis accommodation
- moving between families and friends
- staying in caravan parks or rooming houses
- sleeping rough
- without any accommodation.
Support services assist people to resolve the immediate crisis.
This includes trying to find accommodation, making sure people have food and ensuring they get medical treatment if it is required.
Support services also deliver case management.
Case management involves helping someone address issues that are stopping them from achieving their life goals.
For example they might be struggling with mental health issues or isolation, or perhaps they have experienced violence or trauma. They might want to go back to study or need help to find employment.
A case manager will help with these issues in a range of ways:
- by helping identify what the issues are
- by making referrals (for example, to a counsellor)
- through advocacy
- by providing good information
- through connections to resources that might be required to help someone achieve their goals (for example, money for transport, educational materials, etc.).
Case managers also support people to develop a plan that sets out their goals and what is required to achieve those goals. This plan is often called a case plan.
Good case management facilitates consumer ownership of the case plan through a collaborative process.
The Victorian homelessness system is organised under what is called The Opening Doors Framework, also commonly referred to as ‘Opening Doors’.
For information about The Opening Doors Framework, visit this page.