Vital funding from The Property Industry Foundation has aided the End Street Sleeping Collaboration (ESSC) in its mission to stem the cycle of chronic homelessness that begins in young people.
Funding from the Property Industry Foundation allowed the development of the ESSC’s By-Name List (BNL) – a comprehensive list of every person in a community experiencing homelessness, updated in real time.
The first stage of this important work was delivering a modified Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritisation Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) for Young People, which could be modified and adopted by agencies working exclusively with youth homelessness. This adapted version of the Tool is used to interview young people experiencing homelessness, in order to understand their housing and support needs and provide the most appropriate response.
In consultation with youth homelessness peak body Yfoundations and other youth agencies, some of the questions in the existing VI-SPDAT (for adults) were adapted and new questions added to assist in decision making to meet the needs of young people, particularly for 16–18-year-olds. The youth VI-SPDAT was included in the release of By-Name List 2.0 in August 2022.
Promotion of the youth VI-SPDAT began in late 2022, working with youth-specific organisations such as Youth off the Street, (Sydney), Housing Plus (Orange), NSW Health (Illawarra) and Social Futures (Byron Shire). Community Engagement Teams have successfully rolled out delivery of the Tool in local communities of the City of Sydney and Tweed & Byron Shires, Shoalhaven and Illawarra and is in the process of embedding a western Sydney collaboration, centred on Parramatta.
The data captured in the youth VI-SPDAT and used in BNL 2.0 is currently being analysed for advocating systems change across justice, housing, mental health and out of home care support. “The End Street Sleeping Collaboration is truly grateful to the Property Industry Foundation and its members for the support of the youth VI-SPDAT and integration into the BNL 2.0. This work has allowed us to support youth homeless services and workers to collaborate on one of the most vulnerable groups to end street sleeping.”