The Safe Space program in Hobart provides support for people who are experiencing homelessness, offering support in dedicated day and overnight settings. Since the launch of the program in 2019, more than 1 000 people have been supported and over 11 000 overnight beds provided.
Housing Services Program Manager, Ewan, says the program has innovated the approach to working with the homeless community.
“We work to provide services to everyone who needs assistance. This is not always easy but with a strong team and great support, we have not only kept the doors open but continue to assist members of the community who need support,” Ewan said.
“A few people who have used the service that said that without it, they probably wouldn’t be here today. This really highlights the impact the Safe Space has for people.”
The services are offered at two locations, one providing day space support and services, and the second providing night services.
The night space provides emergency overnight shelter and can accommodate up to 35 people and their pets. There is a dedicated team that are on site every night providing support as well as access to food and showers.
“When all other doors close for the night, we are one of the few that stay open to people,” Ewan said.
The day space offers a wide range of services, including access to NDIS providers, Housing Connect and drug and alcohol support. There is also a dedicated Centrelink worker available for people who visit the space.
Safe Space Program Leader, Hanna, says they strive to make Safe Space as accessible as possible for everyone. It’s important that people know they can access Safe Space without judgment.
“It’s a place to connect with others, grab a bite to eat, a hot drink, access lockers and use the services located there,” Hanna said.
“When you are struggling to meet your daily basic needs, having help and access to services, a meal and a place to get a safe, full night’s sleep can make such a difference.”
“People experience crisis and homelessness for different reasons and can be dealing with any number of traumas or issues. We build good connections with those using the services, and through mutual respect, we work together to provide a safe and supportive environment,” Ewan said.
“I am motived and driven to keep looking for solutions and to keep providing support to the hardest hit. It is not easy work, but it can be highly rewarding.
“Even though we are supporting people during their toughest time, participants and staff bring their most authentic selves to the space, and there is no pretentiousness despite all the challenges people face. I’m amazed every day by people’s resilience and even on someone’s hardest day, being able to show kindness towards others.”
Homes Tasmania funds Safe Spaces in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie with $7 million a year.
To read more about the Safe Space program visit Safe Space - Hobart City Mission
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