Homeless Aboriginal people in Western Australia will benefit from a $139,000 funding package approved by the State and Federal Governments.
Community Services Minister Eric Ripper said today the money would be used for a new accommodation and outreach service in Midland, and to maintain an outreach service for homeless Aboriginal people living on the fringe of Port Hedland.
Mr Peter Staples, the Federal Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services had agreed about the allocation of the funding.
"The Aboriginal community includes some of the most disadvantaged people in our society and they often lack the skills to negotiate their way through Government departments and procedures to get help," Mr Ripper said.
"This package seeks to provide more support and referral services, including advice for some households in their own accommodation."
Mr Ripper said $120,000 would be provided to the Midland (Woomera) Aboriginal Corporation for the new accommodation and outreach services, and $19,244 was for the continuation of the Bloodwood Tree project in Hedland.
The Bloodwood Tree funding was part of a $280,712 package to pay for special projects, rent and security for jointly Federal/State funded Supported Accommodation Assistance Programs (SAAP) across the State.
"The work of the Midland Corporation and the Hedland project are good examples of the benefits of a partnership between Government and the community in dealing with social issues," Mr Ripper said.
"Strengthening this partnership is the key foundation of the $180 million 'Social Advantage' package of about 80 initiatives to provides services for families, children and seniors over the next three years.
"There will always be a need for crisis services, but the basic philosophy of the Social Advantage is to address issues as early as possible, to nip serious problems in the bud."
The Minister said research had shown that at any one time, there could be up to 50 people living without any form of permanent shelter in the eastern metropolitan region of Perth. These would be potential clients for the new service.
"The Midland (Woomera) Aboriginal Corporation is well-established and currently administers emergency relief funding, helps the homeless and runs a soup kitchen in Midland," he said.
"This new funding will enable the establishment of a broader service, including support to Aboriginal people in the initial months of new accommodation for which they may not yet have developed the proper household skills."