A refurbished former backpacker’s hostel in the heart of the Adelaide CBD has been repurposed to provide new short-term accommodation with accompanying support for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, following a sector-first partnership between the Toward Home Alliance and local real estate agency Harcourts Packham.
Toward Home is one of the five statewide homelessness alliances, tasked by the State Government with tackling the issue of homelessness in South Australia. The Toward Home comprises lead agency, Lutheran Care, working with Baptist Care SA, Mission Australia, The Salvation Army and Sonder.
The new CBD accommodation is named Terra Firma, a Latin phrase meaning ‘solid ground’, and offers 11 individual rooms, as well as common areas, complete with kitchen, laundry and communal entertainment facilities. Terra Firma accommodates both singles and couples, aged 45 years and over, with a tenure of up to 12 weeks. Terra Firma also allows for residents to have pets, with essentials and vet checks provided for these animals if required.
Terra Firma is staffed by a Toward Home concierge team and residents also have access to case management supports from Toward Home, and other service providers, as they progress towards securing safe, appropriate and sustainable long-term accommodation.
Rohan Feegrade, Chief Executive Officer for Lutheran Care, is excited about the benefits of this partnership approach for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“It has been wonderful to partner with Harcourts Packham and gain this accommodation for people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness,” says Mr Feegrade.
“The Toward Home Alliance is committed to expanding all forms of housing, from short-term to long term, whilst ensuring quality of care and service provision to our residents.
“Providing support early is key to ensuring people have what they require in order to best keep people housed and out of the homelessness cycle. This helps to reduce the heavy reliance on the system and the devastating health and wellbeing impacts associated with periods of homelessness.
“For many people experiencing homelessness, having a pet can be a barrier to accessing accommodation, so we are delighted that Terra Firma can accommodate pets with their owners.
“The Toward Home Alliance thanks the team at Harcourts Packham for their energy and vision in spearheading this opportunity.
“This partnership is an example of the private sector stepping up to do what they can to prevent and end homelessness and we warmly invite other organisations and investors to contact Harcourts Packham or the Toward Home Alliance to discuss repurposing unused housing stock to help prevent and end homelessness.
“Our Alliance remains committed to working with all sectors, government and community to further new approaches, partnerships towards ending homelessness in South Australia.”
Director of Harcourts Packham, James Packham, said: “Traditionally, short-term accommodation in this space has been provided exclusively by Government, non-for-profits, and church-based organisations; Terra Firma is a leading example in South Australia where a private sector participant has become both a key partner and a provider”.
“We’re aware of the vast numbers of people at present unable to secure rental accommodation, and those who cannot afford housing at all. Our goal is to demonstrate proof of concept with Terra Firma in order to scale and diversify the potential of this model towards ending homelessness,” Mr Packham said.
“With our skillset and reputation, we can assist residents to transition to longer-term housing by providing them with references and utilising our investor database to garner interest in leasing property to residents. We look forward to working with Toward Home to improve the quality of life, stability, and dignity for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.”
If you are an organisation or investor looking to get more information about using your property portfolio to help at-risk individuals obtain safe and sustainable housing, please contact:
- Livia Carusi, Strategic Advisor, Lead, Lutheran Care, 0429 510 333, [email protected]; or
- Jacob Kinsman, Business Operations Manager, Harcourts Packham, 0421 935 458, [email protected]
Toward Home also welcomes enquiries from businesses wanting to explore how they may be able to work with Toward Home toward preventing and ending homelessness and supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Please contact Livia on the contact details above.