The Aspire program is a Social Impact Bond (SIB) developed by Social Ventures Australia, which has been operated by Hutt St Centre and supported by the State Government. The program is supporting nearly 600 South Australians to end their homelessness by assisting them to avoid hospitalisations, emergency accommodation or contact with police and correctional services.
Under the terms of the SIB, Hutt St Centre has been prevented from taking on any new clients since July 2021. A government-initiated independent evaluation of the program is expected to be completed by April.
The transitional funding will allow Hutt St Centre to take on the new clients for long-term case management services. If the evaluation is positive, Hutt St Centre hopes the Government will commit to an ongoing program based on the Aspire model and maximising the lessons learned through the Aspire SIB.
Hutt St Centre chief executive Chris Burns said the lessons learnt from Aspire had informed them on how to provide the best level of case management support for those most in-need on their journey towards “homefulness”.
“The Aspire program has been the pathway to homefulness for hundreds of our most vulnerable people – it’s about long-term, intensive case management and it goes beyond putting someone under a roof and leaving them there unsupported,” Mr Burns said.
“We are working with people who have significant challenges in their lives, particularly when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, and if we can support them into meaningful housing, provide employment support, put them on a healthier pathway and connect them to community, it makes a significant difference to their life over a long period of time.”
The fourth-year results of the Aspire SIB are yet to be released. However, Mr Burns said in its first three years to June 2020, the program had saved the Government $5.69 million in avoided costs, with 1,288 hospital bed days avoided, 212 convictions avoided, and 453 emergency accommodation periods avoided.
Hutt St Centre Board chair Tim O’Callaghan thanked the State Government for the transitional funding to allow more vulnerable people to benefit from the lessons learnt through the Aspire program.
“We can now continue to take on more complex clients and maintain our case management capability, pending final evaluation of Aspire,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“This is a great thing for Adelaide and we are extremely grateful.”Jump to next article