Our Journey to Social Inclusion program ends homelessness

3 September 2020
Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program logo

The final-year reports of J2SI Phase Two show housing and support are key to solve homelessness and save the government money

Our innovative Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program has been proven by research over more than 10 years to reduce chronic homelessness and improve all areas of people’s lives.

“Well, accommodation. I have got steady accommodation. [J2SI Case Manager] got me a nice place and I like it. That’s the biggest advantage I’ve had. I’ve been there nearly three years.

If you know where you’re gonna lay your head every night, where you’re gonna get a feed from, it does take a lot of stress out of you. It takes a lot of stress out of your life.”

– a J2SI participant

Our Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program works with people experiencing  long-term, chronic homelessness – and over three years they are supported to exit homelessness rather than simply manage it.

J2SI Phase Two was run from 2016 and supported 62 people across inner Melbourne. The program built on the success and learnings of the J2SI Pilot (2009-12), which supported 40 people in the St Kilda area.

Since its launch in 2009, J2SI has proven to create both social and economic benefits to participants, government, and the community.

J2SI Phase Three is currently underway and incorporates learnings from the delivery of Phase Two as part of SHM’s practice of continuous improvement. Phase Three is funded by a Social Impact Investment with the Victorian Government to support 180 people in Melbourne.

Extensive research proves J2SI works

J2SI is an evidence-based model, with both the Pilot and Phase Two independently evaluated by a team of researchers from the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT).

Participants were randomly assigned to two groups, with one group receiving support through J2SI and the other continuing to receive support as usual. Outcomes for the two groups are presented in the final-year report of J2SI Phase Two, as prepared by Professor Paul Flatau from University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact.

A Qualitative Study of our Journey to Social Inclusion Phase Two Program on the experiences and perspectives of J2SI study participants has also been prepared, by Monica Thielking.

Key findings of J2SI Phase Two 

Overall statistics from the report show:

A highly vulnerable population

  • 179 people experiencing chronic homelessness participated in the study
  • 12% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • 68% were male with an average age of 40
  • 32% were female with an average age of 41
  • 13 people died during the study.


  • 82.5% of J2SI participants were housed at the end of the program (SHM data)
  • More J2SI participants were in housing (62.2%) than the comparison group (28.3%) in the final survey
  • 40.5% of J2SI participants felt safe in their housing “all of the time”; three times the number at the beginning of the study.

Health and wellbeing

  • Self-reported depression, anxiety and stress reduced for J2SI participants
  • J2SI participants reported a reduction in illicit substance use from 86.5% at the start to 64.9% at the end of the program
  • Nights spent in drug and alcohol rehabilitation decreased to an average of 3.62 nights (in the 12 months prior to the final survey) from 10.73 nights (in the year prior to Baseline).

Justice and economic participation

  • More J2SI participants reported participating in the labour force (employed or looking for work) than the comparison group
  • J2SI participants reported that they were stopped by police an average of 2.38 times (in the 12 months prior to the final survey) compared to 5.75 times for the control group.

Cost benefit analysis

  • Mean health services costs (for the 12 months prior to the final survey) were lower for J2SI participants ($20,656) than the comparison group ($26,738)
  • Mean justice service costs (for the previous 12 months) were lower for J2SI participants ($5,515) than the comparison group ($7,386)
  • For every $1 invested in the J2SI program, $1.84 is returned in health and justice cost savings compared to the comparison group.

Download the J2SI Phase Two outcome reports

Video: virtual launch and in-depth analysis of J2SI Phase Two

SHM launched the J2SI Phase Two evaluation reports via an online presentation and panel-discussion during Homelessness Week 2020.

Watch the complete recording of this virtual event for an in-depth analysis of our highly successful J2SI program, with SHM’s CEO Cathy Humphrey, report authors, Professor Paul Flatau and Associate Professor Monica Thielking, and *Fred, a former Journey to Social Inclusion participant.

This impact2020 webinar was presented by the Centre for Social Impact and Sacred Heart Mission:

J2SI Evaluation and Learning Centre

Our latest findings will contribute to the continuous improvement of J2SI and our ambition to scale J2SI nationally through the J2SI Evaluation and Learning Centre (ELC). In partnership with service providers, the ELC will enable J2SI to support more people out of homelessness across Australia.