Juno’s Rapid Response Clinic is a new drop-in service that provides women at risk of homelessness with support and information around housing options and accessing support services to prevent a future housing crisis.
Welfare agencies understandably prioritise their limited resources on people with the most complex issues. However, the downside of this is that increasing numbers of women at risk of homelessness are not getting the support they need. The pandemic has put added pressure on services that are already at capacity. Juno’s Rapid Response Clinic aims to respond to this service gap, taking preventative measures to provide critical housing information to women at risk and avoid a housing breakdown.
Many low-income women are hanging on by a thread, just able to make ends meet with the current low rates of JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Through self-referrals and agency referrals, our drop-in clinic directly targets women vulnerable to a housing crisis and reduces their risk of homelessness by ensuring that they have the information they need to access support. The service provision also includes brief practical support to help women secure better quality and more suitable housing for their situation.
Open twice a week, across two three-hour slots, Juno provides both telephone and face-to-face support to women that attend the clinic. Participants can access one to two support sessions with our case workers, who can give them the information they need relating to their situation, including:
- Information on tenancy rights or accessing financial assistance
- Information around family or domestic violence support
- Help with private rental searches, as well as access to a private rental pack
- Navigating Centrelink and other support services
- Information on financial counselling
- Advocacy with landlords/real estate agents
- Applying for community housing and housing co-ops
- Referrals to appropriate support services
- Information on where to get material aid such as food relief, furniture, white goods, phone credit and clothing.
Designed by our team of sector experts and grounded in our experience as Juno, supporting over 300 women each year, the Rapid Response Clinic provides a rapid, short-term response, to ensure the women are equipped with the skills and resources needed to support early and mitigate their risk of homelessness.
Juno Senior Practitioner and Rapid Response Clinic Project Worker Pai explained how the Rapid Response Clinic equips women with the relevant information to self-advocate and diverts them away from a housing crisis.
‘We receive at least two calls from women in each three-hour slot. The nature of the calls ranges from requesting information about material aid, to information about family violence support and legal information surrounding housing issues.’
‘We had one call from a woman seeking advice on how to access housing support while experiencing family violence. I spent time explaining the family violence service system and building her capacity to get what she needs. At the end of the call, she said that the conversation had been helpful, and she felt hopeful again. She said other services simply don’t have the time.’
Since Juno launched the Rapid Response Clinic in April, we have had a great response from referral partner agencies. We are continuing to actively promote the clinic within community groups and programs across North and North Eastern regions, specifically targeting women and non-binary people who would not necessarily be presenting at homelessness access points.
If you would like to find out more about Juno’s Rapid Response Clinic or make a referral, please contact us on 03 8692 2020.
The doTERRAHealing Hands Foundation Australia and New Zealand (dHHFANZ) generously funded Juno’s Rapid Response Clinic.