A refurbished former backpacker’s hostel in the heart of the Adelaide CBD has been repurposed to provide new short-term accommodation with accompanying support for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, following a sector-first partnership between the Toward Home Alliance and local real estate agency Harcourts Packham.The new CBD accommodation is named Terra Firma, a Latin phrase meaning ‘solid ground’, and offers 11 individual rooms, as well as common areas, complete with kitchen, laundry and communal facilities. Terra Firma accommodates both singles and couples, aged 45 years and over, with a tenure of up to 12 weeks. Terra Firma also allows for residents to have pets, with essentials and vet checks provided for these animals if required. Terra Firma is staffed by a Toward Home concierge team and residents also have access to case management supports from Toward Home, and other service providers, as they progress towards securing safe, appropriate and sustainable long-term accommodation. As an Alliance we are excited about the benefits of this partnership approach for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We remain committed to expanding all forms of housing, from short-term to long term, whilst ensuring quality of care and service provision to our clients. For many people experiencing homelessness, having a pet can be a barrier to accessing accommodation, so we are delighted that Terra Firma can accommodate pets with their owners. “This partnership is an example of the private sector stepping up to do what they can to prevent and end homelessness and we warmly invite other organisations and investors to contact Harcourts Packham or the Toward Home Alliance to discuss repurposing unused housing stock to help prevent and end homelessness,” Lutheran Care (lead agency) Chief Executive Officer Rohan Feegrade says.
Director of Harcourts Packham, James Packham, says: “We’re aware of the vast numbers of people at present unable to secure rental accommodation, and those who cannot afford housing at all. Our goal is to demonstrate proof of concept with Terra Firma in order to scale and diversify the potential of this model towards ending homelessness.”Further strengthening ties between the organisations, some of the Toward Home leadership team from Lutheran Care presented at Harcourts Packham’s February Kickstart event, a workforce development day held annually to inspire and inform staff.