This interview with Carol Basile is part of an oral history project celebrating 25 years of the Homeless Persons Information Centre [HPIC]. The project was conducted in 2009. HPIC was a telephone referral service operated by the City of Sydney for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. At the time of the interview Carol was manager of the YWCA’s Homeless Brokerage Programme in central Sydney. In the excerpt below Carol describes the programme and the way in which it worked closely and successfully with HPIC at the City of Sydney.
The programme was designed for first time homeless people to stop them from getting on that cycle that they may get on. They’re new to homelessness, one episode of homelessness that with assistance from the brokerage programme, it can prevent that from becoming long term. The City of Sydney funds the programme. Part of that funding comes to them via Department of Housing but predominantly our contract is with City of Sydney. It’s been twelve years now that the City has been committed to assisting homeless people, which is wonderful. And it’s a service that’s been very successful in meeting that niche, that low to moderate needs client group. This is a little special; it’s a little specialised because it is able, it’s flexible, I think that’s the most important word. And we work very closely with Homeless Persons Information Centre [HPIC]. They’re our major referrer so it’s sort of like a very close partnership with the City [of Sydney] and with HPIC and with the Y[WCA] because they make a lot of referrals to us. They do a very good assessment, phone assessment, then they make that referral to the Y and then the client comes in and we take it from there. It’s them [HPIC] that make, usually, the initial referral.