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Partnership in Perth makes access easier

Perth’s first co-designed and purpose-built crisis intervention space for people experiencing homelessness has achieved yet another first.

Uniting WA’s Tranby Engagement Hub in Aberdeen Street has been announced as the first Western Australian pilot site for a place-based model to deliver easier access to Services Australia.

Minister for Government Services the Hon Bill Shorten MP today visited Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub to meet staff participating in the Community Partnership Pilot.

“One of my key priorities as Minister for Government Services has been tackling vulnerability, and the Community Partnership Pilot will make accessing help easier,” Minister Shorten said.

“Under this pilot, Services Australia’s dedicated Community Partnership Specialist Officers (CPSOs) work on site at participating community organisations, such as here at Uniting WA, to help people navigate government payments and services.

“The CPSO here at Tranby, Wendy, is working collaboratively with the Uniting WA team to provide end-to-end and wraparound servicing to people in severe hardship, helping to find solutions to their life challenges.

“Whatever they need help with – whether it is to get their Centrelink payment fixed, a referral to homelessness services or social work support, to work out their myGov access or get a replacement Medicare card – this pilot is connecting people with what they need.”

Uniting WA Co-CEOs Michael Chester and Jen Park from Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub said they are delighted to participate in the Community Partnership Pilot because it will dramatically improve outcomes for the way Tranby clients can interact with government service users.

“People experiencing homelessness often struggle to cope with the trauma and instability,” Michael Chester said. “They simply don’t have the physical and emotional resources to stay on the phone or search through the internet trying to figure out what’s going on with their payments.”

“Having a Community Partnership Specialist Officer on the ground at Tranby is making all the difference,” Jen Park said. “Someone who knows how to navigate the complex Services Australia systems and who can fast-track solutions on the spot.”

Minister Shorten said that since Phase 1 of the pilot was launched in August 2022, the CPSOs have had over 2500 interactions with customers, assisting them to access additional supports on over 2400 occasions.

“For over half of all engagements, customers have been able to get the support they need and their business resolved upon first visit.

“For Tranby, 70 per cent of people who have accessed the program have previously found it difficult to access mainstream government services, so this pilot really is fit for purpose.

“It’s making a big difference in the lives of people who are struggling to get the help they need, resolving 65 per cent of the issues for people at the first meeting,” Minister Shorten said.

“I look forward to hearing about the positive outcomes this Pilot will achieve for Australians in need as we evaluate it over the coming months.”

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