Sacred Heart Mission congratulates the Victorian Government’s budget for committing funds to bolster proven homelessness interventions and for it’s record investment in mental health services.
This year, the Budget is providing a further $324 million over four years towards ten initiatives that intervene early and direct effort away from acute services.*
One of those initiatives is Sacred Heart Mission’s innovative Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program.
At Sacred Heart Mission, we know with the right support, people who have experienced chronic homelessness and disadvantage can maintain stable housing, minimise their use of acute services and create positive change in their lives by gaining training and employment and establishing stronger social connections. Our Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program does just that.
“This investment by the Victorian Government is a resounding endorsement of our J2SI program and means we will have the capacity to work with another 120 people over the next three years,” says Cathy Humphrey, CEO of Sacred Heart Mission.
Within the Budget Papers, the Government has recognised the results from the first outcomes measurement of the current J2SI program – 92.9% of program participants are in stable housing, and hospital bed use has been reduced by 62%, avoiding significant costs to the community.
To support the ten initiatives, the government is developing an Early Intervention Investment Framework to ensure these programs are successful – Sacred Heart Mission looks forward to supporting this approach.
The Budget’s Rough Sleeper Action Plan Initiative includes the extension of funding for Supportive Housing Programs and outreach teams including our GreenLight program. Delivered through a partnership between The Salvation Army, VincentCare and Sacred Heart Mission, GreenLight provides support for people to sustain their tenancies and stay out of homelessness.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System’s recommendations highlighted the importance of stable housing as a core component of mental health care. This is also reflected in this year’s Budget, which allocated funding for 2,000 supported housing places for people with serious mental illness. The Budget includes $46 million of wraparound mental health support for Victorians in these homes.
“In our submission to the Royal Commission, we highlighted the importance of tailored support, alongside social housing, for people experiencing mental illness. This Budget provides mammoth investment into acute mental health services that are desperately needed to ensure people don’t fall through service gaps into homelessness,” says Cathy.
Sacred Heart Mission also welcomes the range of investments into preventative mental health services for children and young people, as well as adults and older adults around Victoria.
Housing & Homelessness
*(see 2021-2022 Strategy and Outlook, Budget Paper 2, p. 52)
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