An independent academic review has found Wellways' Doorway program has a significant positive effect on health outcomes of participants.
Doorway is one of our Victorian Housing First programs which supports participants to access sustainable housing in the private rental market. At the same time, participants are provided recovery support, including tenancy skill building.
The Melbourne University evaluation of the program showed Doorway achieved positive housing and mental health-based outcomes for people who experienced homelessness.
The reviewers also said Doorway’s model looks to achieve sustainable outcomes for people in the program over and above those in other housing models in Australia.
Housing Programs Coordinator Rosie Frankish says the research offers tangible evidence that Housing First principles benefit people experiencing homelessness.
“Home is a vital ingredient to well-being and having a good life,” she said.
“As a sector, we must extend our practice and policy to approach housing and support services innovatively; tapping into privatised markets as well as community."
To help get people in homes, Doorway has partnered with four clinical hospitals and real estate agents across Victoria.
"Across the last three years, 89 participants secured a home of their choice in their community through Doorway, many of these participants have since extended their rental leases."
Doorway Housing and Recovery worker Roni Slootzki says the program not only enhances health outcomes, it also reduces a participant’s need to access public mental health services.
“The strength and success of the Doorway program is that we proudly deliver support alongside clinical mental health partners and real estate agents in the community. We couldn’t do this important work and get the great outcomes shown through this research without these partnerships,” she said.
Rosie says the Doorway model shows that people can access and sustain housing in the mainstream market.
"And moreover, such stability promotes positive mental health outcomes. These models should be explored Nationally if we are serious about rectifying homelessness and supporting people to live better lives.”
The research paper on Doorway has been published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.