Chronic homelessness in Melbourne: first-year outcomes of the Journey to Social Inclusion phase two study

Homelessness Social inclusion Victoria
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The Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) Phase 2 program, delivered by Sacred Heart Mission (SHM), uses an intensive case management approach focused on capacity building and relationship development to facilitate the movement of chronically homeless people in Melbourne to permanent, stable housing and a pathway to broader social inclusion. Phase 2 of the program arose out of the success of a pilot study (Johnson et al., 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) that demonstrated high rates of housing attainment and retention. Sacred Heart Mission (SHM) has enlisted the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia (CSI UWA), in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, to lead a longitudinal research study to evaluate the J2SI Phase 2 program. The research study is a randomised control trial (RCT) where eligible study participants, were randomised upon recruitment and after the Baseline survey into the J2SI Phase 2 program, termed the J2SI group, or the comparison group that continues to receive homelessness services as usual, termed the E group (existing services). Some of those randomised to the J2SI group were not able to be contacted by the J2SI Phase 2 program team, left the geographical area covered by the program or did not engage with the program. This group is labelled the ‘I group’ (Inactive group). Those in the J2SI group who remained engaged at the 12-month point are referred to as the Active J2SI group.

This report presents findings at the Year One time point in which we compare outcomes at the Wave 3 time point with those at Baseline using survey data that were collected during interviews with research study participants. The findings cover a broad range of wellbeing domains, including housing, physical health, mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues, health service utilisation, economic participation, social support and quality of life. The report examines outcomes for study participants as a whole, outcomes at Wave 3 compared with the Baseline broken down by permanent housing status at Wave 3, and outcomes achieved for J2SI Phase 2 participants relative to other participants. A detailed analysis of the latter issue will be undertaken at the completion of the project and published in the final report.

One hundred and eighty valid responses were obtained at Baseline in the study’s longitudinal survey. For various reasons, including participant deaths, withdrawal from the study, and loss to follow-up, 134 complete responses were collected at Wave 3. To allow for the tracking of change over time, results from only those who completed both the Baseline and Wave 3 (i.e., the Matched Sample) are presented in detail in this report.

Please note: The initial report on this project can be accessed here

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