An interview with Kim Holmes, Neami National, State Manager South Australia.
1. How did you first become involved in your field?
I grew up in the country in South Australia and saw some of the inequity around access to services. I also saw the impact of mental illness in that region, and I think that has really driven me to work in roles that can enable people equitable access to both services and to opportunities in life.
I originally studied as a social worker and after working in the youth and alcohol and other drug fields, and with some brief experience in working in with homelessness, the mental health sector was of great interest to me.
2. If people could know one point about your work what would you like them to know?
There is a strong correlation between those who are rough sleeping and experience of mental illness. The Adelaide Zero Project is part of a global movement to end homelessness. It’s an innovative, collective impact approach working towards that goal. It’s a unique project that has over 30 partners across NGOs, government and business.
One point to know is that the Zero Project and Street to Home have a commitment to focus our work on achieving housing outcomes, moving on from an approach that only maintains and supports people while they continue rough sleeping. Getting people into stable housing and into the community is the first priority.
3. What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I’m passionate about the arts and music and really love getting out to see some local bands and art exhibitions.
4. Why are you looking forward to coming to Adelaide?
I’m actually an Adelaide resident, but I’m looking forward to representing our city as a member of the Project Steering Group for Project Zero. I’m really proud of the commitment in our state across sectors, organisations and political parties to ending homelessness in our city. It means a lot to be a part of this ground-breaking project that has already housed more than 40 people since May.
5. Where can people find out more about your work?
• The Don Dunstan Foundation website (www.dunstan.org.au) is the best place to find out more.
• You can also visit the Neami Street to Home website listing (www.streettohome.org.au), or call the Don Dunstan Foundation on (08) 8313 3364 or Neami’s Street to Home site on 08 8714 9000.
• TheMHS Conference- S43: PAPERS: Home & Homelessness, Riverbank Room 3 – Lower Level 1
Thursday, August 30, 2018, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Kim’s abstract for TheMHS Conference
In 2015/16 52% of people sleeping rough who presented to specialist homelessness services in inner city Adelaide reported they were living with mental health issues. As a specialist mental health service with a long history of working with people with complex needs, Neami National recently commenced the delivery of Adelaide’s Street to Home service.
Street to Home provides assertive outreach, case management, primary health services and pathways to assist people who are rough sleeping with housing outcomes. Neami National is a partner of the Adelaide Zero Project which aims to achieve and sustain Functional Zero street homelessness (rough sleeping) in inner city Adelaide by the end of 2020 through core components including by-name data, systems integration and a commitment to housing first.
The Project is taking a collective impact approach with Don Dunstan Foundation as the backbone organisation. Through the Project, Adelaide is recognised globally as a Vanguard City by the Institute of Global Homelessness’ A Place to Call Home Initiative. This presentation will share early learnings from Street to Home and Adelaide Zero Project, as well as international learnings and local plans to achieve Functional Zero rough sleeping.
Kim Holmes is State Manager of Neami National including Street to Home in SA. She’s a member of the Project Zero Steering Group, Acting President MHCSA and Chairperson of PIR and Links to Wellbeing consortiums. She is a qualified Social Worker, is currently studying MBA and is committed to equity, corporate social responsibility and social justice.