Wongee Mia: An Innovative Family-Centred Approach to Addressing Aboriginal Housing Needs and Preventing Eviction in Australia

Shannen Vallesi, Ellie Tighe, Herbert Bropho, Margaret Potangaroa, Leah Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Aboriginal Australians are disproportionately affected by homelessness, 15 with traditional housing models failing to recognise the importance of kinship obligations and 16 ongoing systemic racism. The Wongee Mia project is a pilot initiative emerging out of a Housing 17 First project tackling homelessness among Perth’s most vulnerable rough sleepers. The project takes 18 a different approach to working with and providing long-term housing to Aboriginal families in 19 Perth, Western Australia. Methods: The Wongee Mia project is centered around one client “Robby” 20 and his family to prevent eviction. Data is collected from monthly action research meetings, yarning 21 sessions with family Elders, and client case notes. Results: The project identified 32 family members 22 that had potential to place “Robby’s” tenancy at risk. As at December 2019, 29 members of Robby’s 23 family have been supported by the Wongee Mia case workers and 5 have been housed. Key elements 24 of Wongee Mia are the broader links to end homelessness initiatives (the Housing First program), 25 the cultural backgrounds of the case workers and their ability to connect in a meaningful way with 26 the family, Elder involvement (including the co-production of this paper), and an underlying action 27 research model enabling program delivery improvements. Conclusion: The Wongee Mia project 28 offers an innovative way of working with families to prevent unnecessary eviction by working 29 through whole of family, rather than individual needs in relation to housing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5501
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020

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