From Ward to Streets


Mater is proud to partner with Micah Projects and Queensland Health to deliver Homefront – a dedicated service to support homeless and at-risk patients with access to the community support services they need after discharge.

Designed to help manage the transition from acute care back into the community, Homefront’s integrated outreach support provides clinical care and coordinated access to ongoing primary care, social support and housing in the community that addresses their individual health and psychosocial needs.

Funded by Queensland Health, the Homefront initiative facilitates a dedicated social worker embedded into Mater’s Emergency Department to support patients identified as homeless or at-risk upon presentation.

According to Mater at Home‘s Homefront System Navigator Claire Dunglison, the initiative offers a coordinated referral pathway that improves patient outcomes through close collaboration with health and community providers.

“Through effective discharge planning and collaboration, we can help patients better engage with community-based services and reduce avoidable hospital attendance and dependence within this incredibly vulnerable cohort,” Ms Dunglison said.

Since commencing at Mater in January 2023, Homefront has received over 152 referrals.

Exacerbated by the current housing affordability crisis, many of the participants may be experiencing homelessness, poverty, social isolation, domestic violence or difficult family circumstances.

Homelessness can increase a person’s risk of many health problems—including chronic illness, mental health issues, and disability, trauma, substance misuse, musculoskeletal disorders, and infectious diseases.

Oftentimes however, these health problems can increase a person’s risk of becoming homeless in the first place.

“Homefront provides vulnerable patients with a consistent point of contact to help coordinate the support services they need after being discharged from hospital,” Ms Dunglison said.

“By setting them up for success, we hope to directly improve patients’ health and psychosocial outcomes, and reduce the need for them to re-present at Emergency.

“Reducing emergency presentations will also help to ease the ongoing pressure and cost to the health system.”

According to Saad Farooqui, Health & Services Integration Cluster Lead at Micah Projects, the program’s effectiveness is driven by proactive collaboration between stakeholders.

“The roll-out and operationalisation of the program has been successful through proactive and motivated nursing and support staff from Micah Projects and Mater’s dedicated social worker,” Mr Farooqui said.

“In consultation with Mater, we’ve been able to create a person-centred model of care to assist participants who require health, housing and psychosocial supports in the community.

“Through these vital health and social linkages in the community, this program aims to reduce dependence on Mater Hospital Emergency Department.”

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