By Clair Morton
Last updated on: June 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm
Working with vulnerable people at risk of homelessness is a challenging but also rewarding job, according to staff at the Hutt Street Centre in Adelaide’s CBD.
Which is why RAA has formed a partnership with the Hutt Street Centre to enhance staff safety and security, improve Work Health Safety processes and establish a simple emergency management application.
Through its Community sponsorship program, RAA has assisted the Hutt Street Centre by introducing a new safety app, SafeZone, for staff encountering vulnerable situations.
Among the RAA SafeZone app’s security systems is a Check-In function, which starts a countdown timer. If the timer expires, it will raise an emergency alert to RAA’s 24/7 Monitoring Centre, which will action a pre-determined response plan.
When a user raises an alert via the SafeZone app, the 24/7 monitoring centre is notified of their location and quickly determines the response required.
Hutt Street Centre case manager John Bauer said he hasn’t had to use the new app for any emergencies.
“None of us (caseworkers) have had to use it, but it does provide peace of mind,’’ Mr Bauer, who has 30 years’ experience in the profession, said.
“However, if I’m going on a home visit to somewhere I don’t know the person or the environment I do use the Check-in Timer function.’’
That's a lot of food
The number of meals Hutt St Centre provides yearly
Mr Bauer said the centre provided assistance to those sleeping rough or facing homelessness.
He said there were an increasing number of women seeking help to escape from domestic violence.
“We provide financial counselling and have strong connections to education and employment organisations to help people avoid becoming homeless,’’ the 48 year old said.
Mr Bauer said many clients kept in touch after leaving the shelter.
“It’s enormously rewarding to see people take small steps and grow in confidence and skill levels,’’ he said.
The Hutt Street Centre, which has been operating in the same city location for the past 64 years, provides:
Nearly 1,000 meals a week
Around 11,500 showers a year
More than 4,090 loads of washing and drying
Housing for 570 clients last year
Assisted more than 150 clients into employment and 50 into higher education