The Western Australian Government has awarded Noongar Mia Mia Pty Ltd a $6.8 million contract to deliver the Housing First Support Service as part of the State’s larger Housing First Homelessness initiative.

To be delivered by a consortium led by Noongar Mia Mia over five years, the contract aims to provide accommodation stability for rough sleepers as well as the extensive support needed to keep them in that housing.

The new service, Moorditj Mia (Strong Home), is targeted towards individuals and families sleeping rough through culturally led approaches. It also expands the capacity for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver services long-term.

WA Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the announcement of Moorditj Mia was an “important milestone in the State Government’s ongoing work to partner with Aboriginal people to deliver appropriate services to communities”.

“Taking a culturally informed approach to addressing homelessness, and ensuring services are delivered with a view to supporting self-determination, are key to our ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Western Australians and rough sleepers,” she said.

This partnership with an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) brings together the strengths of multiple organisations under one banner to provide culturally appropriate support.

Moorditj Mia will support rough sleepers across Perth’s metropolitan region in areas of employment, health, mental health, financial management, and other social suppor­ts.

“These organisations and their staff have a deep and holistic understanding of the challenges that many Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness face,” Minister McGurk said.

The Minister acknowledged the overrepresentation of Indigenous people among WA’s homeless and rough sleepers, and said the consortium’s cooperation shows the commitment to further the relationship and role of ACCOs in assisting Indigenous West Australians.

The McGowan Government also expressed it hopes to prioritise self-determination in empowering Indigenous Western Australians.

Noongar Mia Mia Managing Director, Tina Pickett, described the consortium’s commitment to working with the government and all other partners on the project.

“Our future is bright, and we will continue to work collaboratively to advocate for and support our people to achieve an end to homelessness in the Aboriginal community,” Pickett said.

By Aaron Bloch