When ‘Big Kev’ found himself down on his luck and without a place to call home, he turned to UnitingCare West’s (UCW) Tranby Centre. All he wanted was a simple breakfast, a hot shower and someone to listen to his story. He was homeless, but at Tranby he found a spark of hope. That spark became a flame when our team was able to connect Kev with vital government services and eventually, to secure a small unit – his own home.
Fast forward two years and Kev still visits Tranby most days, offering advice and listening to other people’s stories. He is one of a group of people from all walks of life who have, or are still experiencing homelessness, working with UnitingCare West on an ambitious project to ‘Transform Tranby’.
Amanda Hunt, CEO of UnitingCare West, said the ‘Transform Tranby’ project was aligned with the WA Alliance to End Homelessness’ (WAAEH) 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness in WA.
“Around 9 000 people are homeless in this state on any given night, so it’s critical that we move quickly to put this strategy in place,” Amanda said. “As a founding WAAEH member, UnitingCare West is totally committed to making a significant contribution to reaching this target by 2028.
“In-line with this goal, we’re now embarking on a long-term project to transform our Tranby Centre into a multipurpose engagement hub to better connect people experiencing homelessness with the support they need to enjoy a good life – a life where they can participate as valued, contributing citizens of the Western Australian community.
“We will be placing a renewed focus on giving people a hand up, as opposed to simply a handout. Importantly, we will be collaborating with people like Kev who have lived experience of homelessness to ensure we get this right,” she added.
“The first step will be providing people with an enhanced, personalised experience, taking them beyond the surface level ‘cornflakes and hot shower’ phase towards real life changing engagement.”
The Transform Tranby fundraising campaign was launched to coincide with the start of winter, a time when people experiencing homelessness find themselves most vulnerable.
“Last year, with your support, we raised more than $150 000 to open Tranby on Saturday mornings. This year, our target is even more ambitious – we can’t do it alone,” said Amanda. “By supporting the Transform Tranby project, you are not only helping us to create a more welcoming space for people experiencing homelessness, you will be walking alongside them on the journey towards a place they can call home.”
Your support will help to refit and revamp the Tranby space to be a more welcoming environment; to be open seven days a week, for longer hours; to create a stronger drug and alcohol support network; provide greater access to mental health services; develop crisis accommodation support options; and purchase industrial washers and kitchen appliances so guests can be more self-sufficient.
To support Transform Tranby and help to transform lives please call 1300 663 298 or visit unitingcarewest.org.au.
Top image: Britt, left, interns as a volunteer at UnitingCare West’s Tranby Centre.