What to do if you are homeless or at risk
- Contact your local ac.care office
- If out of hours contact Homelessness Gateway 1800 003 308
- An appointment will be made to see one of our specialist homelessness workers
- You will be asked a variety of questions to assess your needs
- We work with you to either try to keep a tenancy, find safe and stable accommodation options, emergency relief.
What to do if you think someone is homeless (eg, rough sleeper)
- The first thing is not to assume that the person is homeless. Sometimes people are travelling through and they may be on a lower income and do not want to pay for a hotel or caravan so they do sleep rough.
- Understand there are privacy issues around taking images of anyone, no matter their situation.
- If you want to do something you could approach the person ask them if they are okay. Do not expect a pleasant response in all circumstances.
- It is preferable to contact ac.care directly. If it is after hours please contact Homelessness Gateway 1800 003 308
- We will make contact with the person and ask them 'are they ok?' and then we could look at some emergency accommodation for them and work with them towards safe and stable long term accommodation. Not everyone wants our help and we cannot force people to take our help.
Opening Hours & Locations
Adelaide Hills and Murray Mallee
29 Bridge Street, Murray Bridge
ac.care Community Centre
22 Ferrers Street, Mt Gambier
5 Kealley Street, Berri
After Hours - all locations
Homelessness Gateway 24/7 1800 003 308
Youth Gateway 1800 807 364
Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Gateway
1800 800 098
Crisis Accommodation is short-term assistance for people who are homeless and have no overnight housing options. Eligible people receive assistance and support to access short term community accommodation options, providing a "breathing space" which allows time for longer term accommodation options to be explored.
This service is available in the Adelaide Hills/Murraylands, Limestone Coast and the Riverland.
Specialist Homelessness Service
ac.care is a Specialist Homelessness Service provider supporting people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness to help them achieve their maximum possible degree of self reliance and independence.
We work with other organisations and the community using a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's needs and provide non-judgemental and non-discriminatory advice.
The Limestone Coast, Murraylands and Riverland Homelessness Service is available for:
ac.care understand the unique elements of Aboriginal and multicultural client engagement and service delivery and have Aboriginal and Multicultural Advocates to ensure we provide the most culturally appropriate service.
The Homelessness Service in all locations includes:
- Brokerage funds
- Crisis support
- Early intervention advice and information
- Homeless Children's Support
- Outreach Support
- Wait-list support
- Referral to other services
- Supported Accommodation options
Intensive Tenancy Support
Intensive Tenancy Support is for people in private and public rental and is designed to help people at risk of eviction retain their existing accommodation to prevent homelessness. Their tenancy may be at risk due to non-payment of rent, property damage, neighbourhood disruption, hoarding and squalor.
In order to assist people to overcome their identified issues and maintain a successful tenancy, the program offers advocacy and practical support to build skills in household management and/or relationships, both within the family and with the wider community.
Access to this program is via referral please contact your local Homelessness Service office in the Limestone Coast, Murraylands or Riverland.
Supportive Housing Packages
Individualised support to high needs clients who have been housed in new houses built through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan
If housing is not available, clients can still be supported through Outreach services where staff provide advocacy advice/assistance to help them secure community accommodation options.
Qualified and experienced staff help individuals involved in the accommodation programs to improve their independent living skills, assisting them with financial management, relationships, employment or education opportunities and challenging emotional issues related to substance addiction or abuse. In addition, ac.care delivers basic budgeting education, relationship counselling and linkage with other services appropriate to individual needs.
The Homelessness Service is funded by the Federal and State Governments' National Affordable Housing Agreement and National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
Some of the ways that ac.care helps:
- We recognise that homelessness is the result of many factors and life experiences.
- We respect the experience of every homeless person we have contact with and we understand that there are many challenges on the road to change.
- We work in partnership with our service users, and support them through the ups and downs of life
- In each of our programs, we place a high priority on creating good connections between the person and the community in which they live.
- Early intervention is a key investment in the alleviation of homelessness. ac.care is a Specialist Homelessness Service Provider with the State Government of South Australia.
Homelessness in rural communities
Homelessness for many is characterised by constant movement between different types of accommodation: the street, homeless shelter, boarding houses. Alternatively, it may be from home to a refuge, a family member or a caravan park. Constant movement from one location to another is described as ‘couch surfing’ and is how most homeless people exist day-after-day, night-after-night in the rural towns of South Australia.
The research tells us that the experience of homelessness in rural communities can be particularly hard to bear for a number of reasons:
- The shame and humiliation that is felt by many who experience homelessness in a close knit community
- Homeless people can be more easily identified and thus seen as different
- Homeless people say that in country areas they are more likely to be seen as failing and discriminated against