New consortium will deliver the Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program across Victoria to end long-term homelessness

8 May 2024
Logos for Sacred Heart Mission, VincentCare, Uniting and Salvation Army

Sacred Heart Mission, The Salvation Army, Uniting Vic/Tas and VincentCare Victoria are thrilled to announce our success in obtaining $45.4 million of funding from the Victorian Government’s Early Intervention Investment Fund to deliver the cycle breaking Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program across Victoria. Working with Homes Victoria, we will support hundreds of Victorians experiencing chronic homelessness.

As a result of this funding, the consortium will be able to deliver J2SI across Melbourne, and regional Victoria.

Sacred Heart Mission CEO, Hang Vo says “We are thrilled to be able to offer J2SI to more people experiencing chronic homelessness. This partnership is a monumental shift towards ending homelessness in Victoria. It will change lives and transform communities.

“The savings to government we have generated through J2SI speak for themselves. We are proud that the Victorian Government is empowering our consortium to reach more people and more communities than ever before.”

“We are delighted that the Victorian Government has recognised the hard work and dedication of the homelessness sector more broadly and injected an additional $151.5 million into the sector to support people to end their homelessness experience.”

What is Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI)?

J2SI is an innovative and evidence-backed Housing First program that takes a relationship-based approach, provides long-term support and works from the premise that if people can sustain their housing, they have a solid foundation to improving other areas in their lives. It features three years of intensive support that wraps services around the person and places their needs at the centre of service delivery.

The J2SI program works. Two, three and four years after starting with the J2SI program, 90% of participants have maintained stable housing, and their use of hospital bed days has decreased by 58% compared to the year before commencing support with J2SI. These results confirm that J2SI provides strong housing and health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. The J2SI outcomes prove it takes ongoing, intensive support to ensure people can sustain their homes and stay out of homelessness for good.

Sacred Heart Mission has been developing, delivering and enhancing the J2SI program since 2009. Service delivery over time has been funded through philanthropy, self-funding and Social Impact Investment (SII, 2018-2023) and Payment by Results (PbR, 2021-2025) outcome payment contracts with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).

At each stage, J2SI has partnered with other service providers and displayed innovation in service delivery, housing access and funding structures.

About the consortium

Together in the last financial year, the group of organisations supported over 100,000 people across the State through local services. We have a strong history of successfully partnering with other members to achieve demonstrated outcomes, most recently through delivery of the GreenLight Supporting Housing Program, Pride in Place, Central Highlands Homelessness Alliance and Substance Treatment and Recovery Program.  

These relationships and existing partnerships with health, mental health, legal, LGBTIQ+, family violence and other service providers will be integrated into the consortium approach to enhance the support provided to J2SI clients. Working with these other service providers recognises the complexity of need and range of expertise required to deliver culturally safe responsive services.  

We commit to actively engaging in the implementation of the Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework, Mana-na woorn-tyeen maar-takoort. We will ensure our policies and practices, our workplaces and services are culturally safe for Aboriginal and- Torres Strait Islander people and we will ensure we are welcoming, inclusive and informed by the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures.  

The consortium will have Indigenous workers, employed by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and integrated into the J2SI teams to ensure culturally safe practices are adhered to for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and community, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff are well supported. 

Quotes from Uniting Vic/Tas General Manager North and West Victoria, Jerry Ham

We are in a housing crisis with unprecedented demand for homelessness services right across Victoria, so it’s never been more important to come together and help more Victorians to escape the cycle of long-term homelessness. 

Homelessness is not inevitable and it’s through partnerships like this that we’ll be able to make a real difference and provide more people experiencing homelessness with a home of their own. 

Quotes from VincentCare Executive General Manager, Paul Turton

VincentCare is pleased to join Sacred Heart Mission in their proven and successful J2SI program, and in ending homelessness – its central to everything we do at VincentCare.  

This new funding announcement ensures that J2SI will continue to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. 

Quotes from The Salvation Army Homelessness State Manager Victoria, Peter McGrath

The Salvation Army are delighted to be part of this expanded program to support the most vulnerable members in the community.

J2SI aligns with the Mission of The Salvation Army in Caring for People and Building Healthy Communities. Sacred Heart Mission has been a leading agency in Victoria providing a Housing First approach and measuring Social and Economic Outcomes benefitting individuals and the greater community.

The Salvation Army is looking forward to continuing to use Best Practice, in collaboration with like-minded organisations to providing lasting outcomes to vulnerable homelessness people in the community.

Media Contact:
Olivia Killeen
Communication and Social Policy Officer
0439 619 993