Jun 23, 2010

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Brisbane registry takes 100,000 Homes international

The week of June 7, while most of their neighbors were fast asleep, over 70 volunteers and outreach workers in Brisbane, Australia woke up at 2:30 am to survey homeless individuals in their community.  The week was organized by 50 Lives 50 Homes, an initiative led by Micah Projects that aims to identify and find homes for the most vulnerable homeless individuals in Brisbane.  Using the Vulnerability Index, they surveyed individuals sleeping in parks and public spaces, food vans, emergency accommodation, diversion court and homelessness services programs. (To learn more about the registry process, see our model.)

The group surveyed 231 individuals sleeping on the street, of whom 118 were found to be vulnerable, and they have already found homes for two of those vulnerable people, including a 70-year-old man who had been homeless for ten years.  How much of a difference will housing make in his life?  Research shows that housing decreases vulnerable individuals' mortality risk, but perhaps the best indicator was his response when support workers asked to borrow the keys to his new home to make copies at a hardware store -- he wouldn't part with them, even for a minute.

If you are inspired by what Brisbane has done, we encourage you to follow 50 Lives 50 Homes on Facebook and          Twitter!