Supported by Lotterywest, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation is collaborating with the National Drug Research Institute’s (NDRI) Aboriginal Research Program (Curtin University), to undertake an exciting new project over 18 months to inform culturally responsive policy and service delivery for Aboriginal people affected by homelessness in the Perth metropolitan area, especially in the context of COVID-19 or other crises.

Aboriginal homeless people are among the most vulnerable in the community, disproportionately affected by mental health issues, alcohol and other drug concerns, and family and domestic violence. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis and the recent end to the rental moratorium.

In earlier work, Wungening engaged with Elders and people who were homeless during the first COVID response. These participants spoke of the importance of choice, ongoing service support, fear of being exposed to COVID without the means to protect themselves, and of the stigma they experienced by virtue of their situations. Participants said “Ask me how you can help me”.

The current collaboration will support Aboriginal people with lived experience of homelessness to share their voices and stories in a range of ways of their choosing, with the aim of informing and directing future, culturally safe, policy and service delivery. Utilising evidence-based methodologies which bring psychological and social benefits to participants, the project will be led by a Community Ownership Group of Elders and those with lived experience of homelessness, who will be co-leaders of the research and remunerated for their time and expertise.

Daniel Morrison, CEO Wungening said “We are delighted to have the support of Lotterywest and to be collaborating with NDRI on this community-led project which stands to change the landscape for Aboriginal people who experience homelessness”

“This is a great opportunity for our homeless Aboriginal population to have ownership of a project that recognises, values and honours their unique needs and voices”. Dr. Jocelyn Jones, Program Lead NDRI’s Aboriginal Research Team.