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George's story: How SKIOT changed a life

George's story: How SKIOT changed a life

21 January 2019

Since launching in January 2018, our St Kilda Intensive Outreach Team (SKIOT) has helped 43 people access housing. SKIOT works with people long-term to secure housing, set up their home and then address individual health and wellbeing issues so they can stay housed.

SKIOT Case Manager Lisa Grant (pictured left) has been working with George*, a client who has been sleeping rough in a tent for almost five months.

The Mission already tried to work with George seven times through short-term case management. Through SKIOT, however, Lisa had the time to build a relationship and develop trust. Lisa said she was able to secure housing for George within weeks, but that was just the beginning.

“We have to challenge this assumption that a home is everything,” Lisa said.

“Many of the people we work with have never had a positive experience of home, so a lot of work needs to go into supporting them to create a place in which they feel safe and secure.”

Once housed, George needed practical ongoing support to set up the tenancy, such as signing the lease, connecting to utilities, accessing local services, and getting a phone. He also needed support to address underlying mental health issues, as well as manage social interactions with neighbours and unwelcome visitors.

George has now been settled into his home for four months, is connected to local services and supports and has improved his social connections.

“It’s a very special program. We have the ability to provide long-term, relationship-based support, which means we can work with people to address their specific needs so they can stay housed,” Lisa says.

Learn more about SKIOT

*George’s name has been changed to protect his identity.

Sacred Heart Mission respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate our services. We pay our respects to the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal peoples, and to Elders past, present and future.
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