World-first research about to get underway

July 22, 2021

The Haymarket Foundation is involved in world-first research into homelessness.

The research has recently been given ethics approval by Macquarie University. It is part of a grant awarded by the City of Sydney to the Haymarket Foundation.

The work focuses on neuropsychological assessments for people experiencing homelessness who have suspected cognitive impairments.

It offers people who have experienced prolonged and repeated episodes of homelessness the chance to end that cycle.

Demand for the service:

There has been a huge demand for the assessments, which make recommendations relating to securing permanent housing and supports.

The program is now fully subscribed and the assessments are underway.

The assessments will be carried out by Advanced Neuropsychological Treatment Services (ANTS), which has worked with the Haymarket Foundation for over 10 years.

“Our consultants travel so that all assessments can be carried out at the safe and familiar environment of the Haymarket Foundation,” says Dr Jamie Berry, the Director of ANTS, who is the lead researcher and an Honorary Associate at Macquarie University.

“The support provided by the staff at the Haymarket Foundation has been invaluable in our achievement of 100% attendance rates for referrals received,” he says.

The difference the work makes:

The assessments can mean the difference between a person living independently with access to NDIS support for instance, or yet another unsustainable tenancy.

These failed tenancies can be due in part to undiagnosed cognitive impairments and therefore inappropriate housing and supports being put in place.

The Haymarket Foundation will work with the End Street Sleeping Collaboration‘s escalation group and the Collaborative Support initiative to focus on the City’s most vulnerable people.

While assessments can be done through the public health system, the barriers are often insurmountable. There are long waiting times for assessment and many individuals in the target cohort have a history of negative experiences with the health system.

So far there has been no research carried out in the area: the team plans to publish the work, which could lead to changes in policy and practice.

Read more detail on the work here.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, The Haymarket Foundation, 0466 366 900