ABC News 24
The FNHP volunteers rendering services to a household with 6 young children in order to avoid their eviction.
ABC 7.30 Report piece on the First Nations Homelessness Project.
An army of volunteers has stepped in to prevent Indigenous families being evicted from public housing across Perth.
Radio National’s Breakfast with Fran Kelly spoke to Jennifer Kaeshagen about the work of the First Nations Homelessness Project.
Meet the Team
The First Nations Homelessness Project has a leading team of mental health practitioners, social workers, academics and committed community members.
Meet the First Nations Homelessness Project team here.
The FNHP thrives on the goodwill of more than 1,000 volunteers.
Welcome to the First Nations Homelessness Project
The FNHP provides advocacy and through-care support – practical and psychosocial – to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable families, with the goals of keeping First Nations families housed and together. This towards Closing the Gap, and towards reducing the suicide rates of First Nations people. The FNHP is a branch of the Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation. The FNHP is Perth (Western Australia) based.
The FNHP is dedicated to supporting First Nations families who are at-risk of eviction from their home and/or at-risk of children being removed from their parents. The FNHP agrees that of course the best interests of children must be pursued. However, the FNHP believes that the majority of public housing evictions and many scenarios whereby children are removed could have been avoided if there had been targeted support and that this support is not prematurely disengaged. In addition to practical and psychosocial support by the FNHP, there is also the provision of advocacy and mediation on behalf of families made vulnerable by crisis – many families are disadvantaged by fear and trauma and therefore advocacy can lead to mediation.
The FNHP recognises that individuals who as children were removed from their families are at elevated risk to depression, aberrant behaviour and suicide. The removal of a child from his or her family is a significant psychosocial hit. It goes straight to the validity of psychosocial identity. It hurts, and for many this pain is unbearable.
In cases where there is no prospect of reunification with parents or siblings, the trauma could degenerate into a string of traumas. Familial identity is made a liability and there is a disconnection with one’s sense of worth. These issues are more acute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people exposed to racism and attitudes that diminish their historical and traditional heritage.
FNHP is a game-changing project based on a thorough, ongoing care approach, which doesn’t give up on vulnerable families. The project coordinates psychosocial counsellors, social workers, health practitioners and mentors, providing a solutions-based approach to resolving issues for families with both the Departments of Child Protection and Housing (social housing). In doing so, the FNHP validates people.