Continuum of care

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a tailored, flexible support approach that drives better, faster housing outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.
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About the Continuum of Care

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With this innovative approach, we are moving away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ support structures of the homelessness service system, characterised by short-term, standardised support responses and a lack of housing availability.

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Key elements of the Continuum of Care

  • Quick access to stable housing
  • The right level of support at the right time to gain and maintain housing
  • Prioritised housing and support for those most vulnerable
  • Short-term interventions to prevent first-time homelessness

Housing supply is key to our approach

Of the 7,000 people who came through our Engagement Hubs in 2017-18, the year the CoC was conceived, 900 people sought individual support from Sacred Heart Mission.

Half of these clients had housing that was at risk. With our support, 96 per cent of these people remained housed.

The other half were people without housing and experiencing homelessness; of those only 11 per cent achieved a housing outcome.

Simply put, this 11 per cent outcome was not good enough for us.

We know that without sufficient housing supply, we can’t help our clients achieve a stable housing outcome, regardless of the level of support we provide.

A steady supply of housing stock is the absolute key to the success of the CoC program.

With the announcement of the Big Housing Build in Victoria in late 2020, we now have greater access to affordable housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our community – with a target of accessing 100 properties per year for our clients.

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A roadmap for success

Sacred Heart Mission is experienced in delivering services which have proven to end a person’s experience of homelessness, for good. This has been seen in our innovative and successful Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program, a rapid housing approach coupled with three years of intensive support that wraps services around each person we work with. With a strengths-based lens, J2SI places people’s needs at the centre of service delivery. It works to end homelessness, rather than simply manage it.

Using similar principles and learnings proven in the J2SI model, the Continuum of Care will provide people with the right level of support, over the right period of time, based on their own individual and unique needs. They are supported to find housing, sustain housing and achieve their goals.

The CoC approach supports clients experiencing the full spectrum of homelessness, from intervention to prevent first-time homelessness, to providing support to sustain housing, as well as support for those who may have experienced prolonged and repeated episodes of homelessness. This approach incorporates interaction with other services, including universal and specialist health and human services.

Ending homelessness is a lot more than providing a roof over someone’s head.

It’s about creating a sense of welcome, building trust and sticking with people along the way. As a tailored approach to our service model, the Continuum of Care achieves this aim and offers a realistic solution to end a person’s homelessness.

How we’ve supported our community

Meals Program Chef Kirsty with a takeaway meal
Our Impact

169,417 nutritious takeaway meals were served at our Meals Program in 2020/21.

A client and a case manager talking to each other while sitting on a bench outside
Our Impact

2,267 times, Pathways Workers at Sacred Heart Central provided support over the past year.

Our Impact

1,738 times, women presented at the Women’s House and received support in 2020/21.