”“Now more than ever, families and people are seeking help.”
Introducing Tash, the acting front door coordinator at Colony 47.
Tash and her colleagues support a team that assists individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness in southern Tasmania.
The program, Housing Connect Front Door, supports people to access essential services in Tasmania’s current housing crisis.
When people are in crisis or urgently need a place to stay, the team helps connect them with services, including social housing applications, crisis accommodation and private rental support..
Recently, she’s seen more families and people who have never accessed services before seeking help.
“Working people who have lived in a private rental for 10 to 20 years, have their lease end and they can’t afford to re-enter the private rental market,” she said.
The team aims to connect individuals with various housing options tailored to their needs and responds to around 100 daily calls for help.
“Whether it’s for government-funded homes or community housing providers like the Salvation Army, all calls for help flow through the Front Door program.”
Tash and her team address a range of challenges, including crisis situations, rent arrears, private rental assistance and ongoing case planning.
“We refer people to housing support services for long-term goal planning to ensure they have a safe place to stay for the night,” she said.
“Sometimes, a simple phone call to check on the progress of an application can provide much-needed comfort and reassurance.”
Tash emphasises the importance of treating everyone with respect and understanding their unique circumstances.
“It’s crucial not to make assumptions about what someone wants or needs.
Instead, she believes in asking individuals about their goals and preferences, ensuring they have a say in their own lives.
“We know that homelessness can happen to anyone, and it’s often triggered by unexpected events like relationship breakdowns or job losses,” she said.
“Flexibility is at the core of Colony 47’s approach to helping housing clients.”
For those seeking assistance, Tash and her team go beyond finding a temporary place to sleep.
“The team works tirelessly to explore options, initiate applications, address barriers, and provide support.
“Whether it’s connecting individuals with medical services, helping them access employment opportunities, or facilitating reunification with their children, we’re dedicated to empowering our clients in all aspects of life.
“Remember, we’re all just one step away from needing support ourselves.”