Dignity is a registered national charity, established in 2015 bringing innovation and strength to the sector. At Dignity, we believe we can collaboratively end homelessness in Australia. To do this, we empower people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness to prevent, respond to and end their homelessness. Dignity currently provides supported temporary accommodation and longer-term stable housing for up to 180 people every night of the year and operates multiple programs to prevent homelessness including food relief and education across Australia.
Recognising the increased need for good quality, safe, supported longer-term transitional accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, Dignity embarked on establishing a program that facilitated an innovative intergenerational model of housing in partnership with Department of Communities and Justice. In this model, young people (aged 18-24) and older people (aged over 55) experiencing homelessness are housed together in a safe and supportive community.
Many traditional forms of transitional accommodation address immediate needs for housing but do not provide the ability necessary to move beyond this to longer-term stable housing and social cohesion.
Fundamentally, Dignity aimed to break the cycle of homelessness by assisting people experiencing homelessness with housing (12-months) combined with emotional and logistical support from a dedicated support team and life-skills education by specialist organisations. This approach moves beyond a mostly crisis driven response to an integrated service provision, ultimately preparing residents for ‘real world’ tenancy.
The intergenerational model of social support is a pillar of the Dignity Intergenerational Studios program. Dignity’s research and experience showed that there were multiple benefits for both youth (under 24s) and older people (over 55s) when they intentionally engage with each other, initially guided and then independently. Cohorts learn valuable skills by respectfully engaging with one another and sharing experiences.
Dignity’s innovative models underpinned by dignified care for people experiencing homelessness has been presented as an agenda item at the United Nations Conference in New York and the organisation has won several prestigious awards and recognised at the Telstra Business Awards and Social Impact Measurement Awards as social changemakers.
For further information on Dignity Ltd, visit dignity.org.au