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Aspire Program

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The Aspire Program is a new program commencing in July 2017 which will assist up to 600 people to permanently end their homelessness through long-term intensive case management, housing and employment pathways.

The Aspire Program is unique as it is based on the housing-first model and designed to focus on strengthening community engagement and employment participation. Program participants will be provided:

  • Stable accommodation
  • Job readiness training and pathways to employment
  • Life skills development
  • Importantly, they will also have the long-term support of a dedicated Case Manager who will help them connect with wider support services and identify and achieve their aspirations.

The program is funded by a Social Impact Bond (Aspire SIB), the first in South Australia, and the third in Australia.

The project is a collaboration between Hutt St Centre, South Australian Government, Social Ventures Australia and Common Ground Adelaide. Unity Housing Company and Anglicare South Australia are housing partners for the Aspire Program.

For enquiries on the Aspire program please email the team

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What is a Social Impact Bond?

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an innovative funding alternative for social intervention programs. SIBs are investments made into companies, organisations and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

Under these arrangements governments agree to share the financial benefits delivered through innovative social programs.  SIBs offer governments a risk-free way of pursuing creative social programs that may take years to yield results.

The basic structure of a SIB is:

  • Government contracts a bond manager and service provider
  • The bond manager raises a bond through private investments
  • The bond funds the service provider to deliver a program to a specific participant cohort
  • Agreed upon program outcomes are assessed by an independent evaluator to determine cost savings to government
  • If the program achieves its stated objectives, the government repays investors with returns based on the savings the government accrues as a result of the program’s success.

You can find out more about Social Impact Bonds here

Aspire SIB

The Aspire Program is funded by a Social Impact Bond (SIB) - Aspire SIB.

The Aspire SIB is a $9 million bond which has a life of 7 years. The bond funds the Aspire Program, which is operated by the Hutt St Centre. The Aspire Program provides intensive case management combined a housing first approach and long term (3 years) support for 600 people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide.

The Aspire Approach

The Aspire Program is an opportunity for Hutt St Centre to continue our history of introducing innovative ideas and approaches. The Aspire Program has been devised with a co-design approach to ensure the participants are put at the centre of the project. This approach seeks to address perceptions of power imbalance between the participant and the service, and include the participant as a primary designer of their own service. Hutt St Centre has re-imagined and updated the well understood concept of Case Management resulting in new guidelines and language.

Housing First Principle

The model will use a Housing First principle by placing participants in suitable housing upon entry into the program.

Housing First is a recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centres on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing additional supports and services as needed.

The basic underlying principle of Housing First is that people are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed. Housing is provided first and then supports are provided including physical and mental health, education, employment, substance abuse and community connections. 

Information on referral and eligibility

Referral and Intake

Referral and intake for the Aspire Program occur in a staged way, with 13 new people accepted into the program every month for the first 4 years. Referrals can come from any Specialist Homelessness Service in Metropolitan Adelaide or Yatala and Northfield Prisons and the RAH (including Glenside) Hospital. The Aspire Program will provide regular advice to referring agencies as to how and when referrals will take place.

For enquiries on the Aspire program please email the team

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Aspire Program a person will have to fulfil Criteria 1 and at least one of either Criteria A, B or C.

Criteria 1

Aged 18-55 years old at referral
Living in Metropolitan Adelaide at referral, and with the intention to remain in Adelaide
Has the legal right to work in Australia
Not currently on bail

Criteria A

Currently homeless (primary, secondary or tertiary.) 

Homeless (primary, secondary or tertiary) for at least 3 months within the last the last 12 months.

Criteria B

Exiting Yatala or Northfield prisons and identified as at risk of homelessness.

Criteria C

Exiting the RAH (including Glenside) hospital and identified as at risk of homelessness.

Housing First

Aspire is a Housing First program, with partnering housing organisations providing housing for new participants who require it. The housing will be in the Adelaide metropolitan area and Aspire will match new participants with appropriate housing options where possible.

Support Stages

Support for participants in the Aspire Program will be delivered in three distinct stages. Participants will move through each stage at different rates depending on complexity and it is expected that some participants will move back and forth between stages.

Stage 1 – Stabilisation

Intensive case management focusing on the life issues that contributed to a participant’s homelessness. A key function during this stage will be referring and linking participants to multiple external supports and providing on-going support coordination.

Stage 2 - Re-Engagement

This stage focuses on re-engaging participants into work and study. Participanjts may move to stage 2 at any stage, but it is anticipated that most people will move over after about 6-12 months in the Aspire program. Participants will engage with education programs focusing on literacy, numeracy, job readiness and life skills. A Volunteer Tutor will be assigned to each participant to provide one-on-one support and study skills. Participants will be allocated to an Employment Officer who will support them to seek and find employment.

Stage 3 – Monitoring

Once participants are stabilised, engaging in regular activities and requiring less intensive support they move to stage 3. Aspire case management reduces in intensity and volunteers take on a role to provide participants with contact support. Stage 3 continues for the remainder of the full 3 years support timeframe, unless a participant decides to exit early.

These stages are designed to be flexible and responsive to participant’s needs who may need different levels of support at different times. The program is designed to taper down support to encourage participants to be independent before they exit. Participants can chose to exit the program early but those in particular social housing may then be in breach of their agreements.