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Organisation - B Miles Women's Foundation

Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Diverse Groups Nominee

Organisation - B Miles Women's Foundation

Please give your reasons for nominating this organisation.

B Miles Women’s Foundation is highly effective at resolving homelessness experienced by women who are impacted by mental ill-health. The efficacy of the Foundation’s programs is largely due to the Foundation’s specialisation in the domain of mental health. The Foundation is highly regarded by service users, health services and the SHS sector for its commitment to providing specialist care to women in recovery from homelessness/housing instability, trauma and mental ill-health. 

By working in partnership with local health services, clinicians and philanthropists, the Foundation ensures that clinical services are accessible for women in recovery from mental ill-health.  The partnership between B Miles Women’s Foundation and St Vincent’s Metal Health Service ensures that women are clinically supported, particularly after admissions to inpatient mental health units. The Foundation provides a Clinical Services Program that makes both individual and group psychological therapy available to women in contact with SHS and housing providers in the Sydney Metropolitan area.

The specialist Case Management provided by B Miles Women’s Foundation achieves excellent outcomes for women largely due to its biopsychosocial approach and focus on relapse prevention and early intervention. This focus has brought about not only reduced rates of acute care interventions and hospitalisations, but also increased rates of sustained tenancies. Moreover, client-focussed wellness planning enhances sustainable housing outcomes by enabling women to maintain wellbeing and self-determination in their lives.

The hallmark of B Miles Women’s Foundation’s service model is cross-sector collaboration with health and housing providers. This model ensures that women are best supported in their recovery so that homelessness is not only resolved, but is also prevented from recurring.

B Miles Women’s Foundation is an exemplary service that warrants recognition and commendation for its commitment to excellence in responding to, and preventing, homelessness for women who are impacted by mental ill-health.

What outcomes were delivered as a result of this organisation?

Case Management Results: 2016-2017 Financial Year
B Miles Supported Accommodation Program accommodates women are who primarily assessed as having high and complex needs. 92% of women accommodated in the crisis accommodation program exited to transitional housing, affordable housing, a Housing NSW tenancy, or moved in with family or friends. This outstanding achievement is an indicator of the Foundation’s efficacious intake and assessment processes, risk management practices, and advocacy.
Transitional Housing and Outreach Support: 84% of women accommodated in transitional housing moved into long-term secure housing with Housing NSW or affordable housing providers. These results are an indication of the valuable and sustainable work undertaken by the Foundation’s Case Management program, notwithstanding the shortage of long-term affordable housing options in the Sydney area. 
B Miles Women’s Foundation annual data consistently demonstrates excellence in ending homelessness for one of the most vulnerable groups in our community; women impacted by mental-ill health, with experiences of complex trauma, instability and housing crisis.

Reference statement:

Alex Greenwich, Member for Sydney

I write to support the nomination of B Miles Women’s Foundation for the SHS Good Practice Awards and commend the essential services the foundation has provided in Sydney since 1989. 
The foundation responds to some of the most vulnerable women in inner Sydney including women experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness who are impacted by poor mental health. 
The foundation’s strong linkages and partnerships with the local mental health service at St Vincent’s Hospital ensure its client group has specialist clinicians supporting women in their recovery, often after admissions to inpatient mental health units. 
The service has a strong reputation in the inner city and the quality of its specialist case work is recognised by both local health and homelessness providers. 
A key strength of the foundation’s service model is cross sector collaboration so that the health and housing needs of women who would otherwise be isolated are met. There foundation also involves and supports women to make decisions in their recovery pathway. 
I have heard from former foundation residents who provide praise for the service and express gratitude for the skill and expertise of the foundation’s team. I have seen the positive outcomes the foundation has helped achieve for vulnerable women with many moving into long term secure housing. These positive outcomes have wider community benefits. 
It is my experience that the specialised services of organisations like B Miles Foundation are often smaller, independent and localised, allowing them to be progressive and adaptive in their service models. The foundation has an outstanding record of good practice and I hope its smaller size with fewer employees and smaller voting network does not disadvantage it in achieving recognition under the SHS Good Practice Awards. 
I am pleased to support the nomination for a SHS Good Practice Award for the B Miles Women’s Foundation. 
Yours sincerely
Alex Greenwich