Pacific Link Housing, in collaboration with the University of Newcastle, has co-funded and released an exciting and thought-provoking research report titled “Together Home practitioners’ perspectives on building resilience and relationships.” The report showcases the remarkable impact of the Together Home program in addressing chronic homelessness through a Housing First model with intensive and long-term support.

The Together Home program, funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, provides long-term housing and aims to improve personal wellbeing for individuals experiencing homelessness, particularly those street sleeping. This initiative aligned with the NSW Government’s commitment to halve street sleeping by 2025, making it a critical priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One success story that emerged from the program is Kevin*, who had endured over five years of homelessness and lost touch with family and friends. When Kevin entered the Together Home program, he described it as a pivotal moment in his life.

“Together Home came into my life at one of the biggest forks in the road I’ve ever faced. I was at the lowest point, worn down economically and emotionally.”

The program transformed Kevin’s life. With the support of Together Home, he now has a secure home on the Central Coast and has successfully reconnected with his loved ones. Reflecting on his experience, Kevin emphasised the profound impact the program can have on individuals and families in desperate need of stable and secure housing.

Nicole Harvey, Manager of Community Partnerships and Support Coordination at Pacific Link Housing and co-author of the report, highlighted the significance of a comprehensive support system in empowering individuals to rebuild their lives and forge meaningful connections.

“The success of the Together Home program can be attributed to a collective understanding that stable and secure housing is just the beginning. The program practitioners provided the necessary resources, connections and support for individuals to regain their dignity and create lasting change.”

The Together Home program has provided stable and secure housing for 45 individuals who would have struggled to sustain a tenancy without wrap-around support and the dedication of the Pacific Link Housing team. The compassionate approach of the program came to the fore by providing kindness and companionship to six individuals who sadly passed away. Pacific Link Housing coordinated services and memorials to ensure they received dignity and respect at the end of their lives. Without the Together Home program, these individuals might have passed away alone and on the streets.

Dr Kate Davies, Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, stated that the Together Home program has changed people’s lives, especially people who had lost hope of ever having a home.

“The findings from this study teach us important lessons about how to end homelessness. We must value, respect and individually support people who have been homeless. Government and non-government partners need to work closely together, enabling safe and stable housing availability for everyone.”

Ian Lynch, CEO of Pacific Link Housing, expressed immense pride in the transformative impact of the Together Home program.

“The success stories that have emerged from the Together Home program are a testament to our team and partners’ dedication and hard work. This research reinforces the need for comprehensive funding for support and underscores the importance of building thriving, inclusive communities that empower individuals in need.”

The research report’s release aligns with Pacific Link Housing’s mission of providing safe, secure and affordable homes to those in need. Importantly, it showcases the humanity of Together Home, the power of a collective and collaborative approach and provides the evidence to support continued investment in such a valuable program.

Note: The “Together Home practitioners’ perspectives on building resilience and relationships” research report was co-funded and released by Pacific Link Housing and the University of Newcastle. A separate program evaluation, which will be funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, is currently underway. 

*Name changed to protect privacy.