Homeless Advisory Service 1800 065 892 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm – information and assistance about crisis accommodation services, bond assistance eligibility, and social housing eligibility and criteria.
Department of Human Services (Centrelink) Crisis Payment 13 28 50. People in a crisis situation may be eligible for a Crisis Payment. Access www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/crisis-payment to see if you’re eligible.
Each crisis accommodation provider has different eligibility criteria, depending on what they are funded to provide and whether priority must be given to specific needs or a specific client group, such as Aboriginal Australians. For example, a woman with a child cannot go to a crisis accommodation facility for single women and some facilities for women with children may not be able to accommodate teenage boys. People under 25 may be able to access youth accommodation instead of general adult accommodation.
If you are in crisis and in need of urgent assistance, contact the Crisis Care Helpline (24 hours / 7 days a week) on (08) 9223 1111 (1800 199 088 for country callers). EntryPoint Perth (08) 6496 0001 also provides referrals to crisis and emergency accommodation across the Perth metropolitan region. You will be advised about what services are available to you. If you or someone’s life is in danger you should call 000 for the Police.
If the accommodation is for singles, men and women have separate rooms, although facilities may be shared within this type of service.
With family accommodation for women, self-contained facilities are usually available for each family group, although they may still share the larger kitchen facilities if they wish to do so.
Services in crisis accommodation may include:
• Child-specific services (e.g. linking with school, or health services)
• Financial and budgeting assistance
• Referral and information for specialist or general counselling
• Advocacy and support
• Assistance to access other support services
• Assistance with Department of Housing applications
• Assistance with applications for Centrelink payments
Some places include meals in the room cost, while other places require that you provide your own meals. In many facilities you are also expected to prepare your own meals and ensure the common areas are maintained in a clean and tidy condition.
Some crisis accommodation services also have transitional accommodation, which is made available to appropriate clients within the service. Please note these transitional accommodation services within crisis accommodation may not be listed on the organisations website.
If you are experiencing difficulties in a private tenancy (e.g. facing eviction, behind in the rent, and/or property damage issues), you should act early to negotiate a solution with the agent/owner.
For advice, contact Tenancy WA (08) 9221 0088 or your local Community Legal Centre. The Community Legal Centre Directory is available at www.communitylaw.net/CLC-Directory. There are also private tenancy support programs available, which are funded under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. Visit the Department for Child Protection website www.dcp.wa.gov.au/servicescommunity for a list of private rental support programs.
If you have a pet, you should talk to the accommodation service worker. If the accommodation cannot take your pet, you may contact places like Cat Haven (08) 9442 3600, Dog’s Refuge Home (08) 9381 8166, or Swan Animal Haven (08) 9279 8485. If you are escaping from family/domestic violence, Patricia Giles Centre has the Safe Families Safe Pets Program (08) 9300 0340 for your dog to be looked after up to three months.
You may not be able to use crisis accommodation services if you are intoxicated. In that case, you may want to go to a sobering up shelter first. For a list of sobering up shelters, visit the Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies directory at www.greenbook.org.au.
Transitional accommodation is similar to supported accommodation. Housing and support is provided to assist people to transition from an institutional setting, e.g. prison, rehabilitation, mental health facility or foster care, to independent housing. In most cases, referrals and assessments must be done before the person leaves the institutional setting.
Supported and transitional accommodation can be short term, medium or long term, but it is usually not provided on an ongoing basis. By the end of the support period, clients are assisted to move to longer term accommodation such as private rental housing, community housing or public housing, depending on circumstances and needs.
Some transitional accommodation programs include:
• For men, women and young people leaving prison or a juvenile detention facility. Contact the Department of Corrective Services on 13 12 17 for information on funded accommodation services for people released from prison.
• For young people leaving state care, and people released from mental health facilities, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres contact the Department for Child Protection on 1800 622 258 for information on funded services.
For a list of mainstream and specialist supported accommodation services and providers, visit www.dcp.wa.gov.au/servicescommunity.
When accessing Crisis Care, it is important to remember this is part of the Department for Child Protection (DCP). All calls are logged and caller details recorded on a database which is accessible to DCP.
If the assessment is successful, you will be required to sign a tenancy agreement before moving to the allocated property, and usually pay a bond and two weeks’ rent in advance.
It is important to fully understand the nature and contents of the tenancy agreement before signing. In many instances, the tenancy agreement for supported accommodation includes an obligation by the tenant to meet with a case worker – failure to engage with the support offered may in fact lead to termination of the tenancy. Always read any contract or agreement and ensure you agree with the wording before signing. Once you have signed, it means you agree to the conditions and cannot get out of the contract.
If you are unsure about any of the tenancy conditions, you should ask your support worker to explain them fully before you sign, or you may contact Tenancy WA on (08) 9221 0088 or a Tenant Advocate at your local Community Legal Centre. Centre details can be found in this directory.