Haven; Home, Safe (HHS) today officially launched a special Social Return on Investment (SROI) report that highlights the ‘profound’ impact of its flagship Sidney Myer Haven (SMH) housing and support program on breaking the cycle of poverty of disadvantage.

The From Surviving to Thriving: A Model Breaking Negative Cycles report by an independent SROI evaluation agency, Think Impact, found that for every $1 invested in SMH up to $12 of social and economic value was created. This includes value to SMH residents, their children, and significant value to the Victorian State Government in avoided costs.

The three-month evaluation conducted last year, examined the value created since the SMH commenced in October 2015 through to June 2018.

Located in Bendigo, the Sidney Myer Haven is a residential complex, consisting of a central education centre and 19 two-bedroom units that house a mix of singles, couples and families. They are supported 24/7 by an on-site support worker. The majority of residents have complex issues, all have experienced homelessness or housing vulnerability, and most are new parents.

An SROI calculation indicates cost-effectiveness by comparing the investment required to deliver the activities with the value of the outcomes experienced by all beneficiary stakeholders. Social value is calculated by placing a financial value on the quantified change commensurate with the degree of change experienced by stakeholders as a result of the Sidney Myer Haven program.

These financial values are known as financial proxies.

Report author Suzi Young found ‘the Sidney Myer Haven (SMH) program is enabling people to transform their lives and the lives of their children and families in the most profound ways’.

In her report, she notes that the value created by SMH in breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage with many SMH residents had already experienced:

• 55 per cent of SMH residents presented with alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues

• 62 per cent reported that their parents had also had issues with AOD

• 70 per cent of residents had experienced family violence

• 47 per cent reported that their parents experienced family violence

• 80 per cent of residents had a mental health diagnosis

• 61 per cent of residents had parents with a history of mental health issues.

In this context of crisis, violence and intergenerational disadvantage, the SROI evaluation demonstrates that the SMH program is delivering significant positive outcomes to residents, and the government.

For example, residents benefited from 51 per cent ($11,383,329) of the social and economic value created, in the form of better mental health (23 per cent), expanded healthy social networks (21 per cent), increased personal safety for those escaping family violence (16 per cent), expanded confidence and capability to parent (11 per cent), and better emotional health (5 per cent).

At a conservative estimate, child residents are thought to experience 16 per cent of the total value ($3,679,571), with 56 per cent of that being from improved social and emotional development, and 21 per cent from improved physical health and wellbeing.

The State Government experienced 31 per cent ($7,026,271) of the total value by avoiding costs as a result of the outcomes realised for residents. These avoided cost figures are considered to be conservative, as they do not account for the avoided costs over a lifetime.


For more interviews with the Think Impact report author and graduates of the program:

Sue Masters

Communications and Marketing Director 0448 505 517


Haven; Home, Safe (HHS) is Australia’s only fully integrated affordable rental, crisis, transitional, support, housing, and homelessness services provider employing more than 160 staff across offices in Bendigo, Preston, Geelong, Mildura, and Robinvale with outreach services in Frankston, Swan Hill, Echuca and Kyabram.

As a registered Housing Association, we own or manage 1600+ affordable rental properties across 29 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

First incorporated 1978, the organisation has grown from modest beginnings to become an industry-leader with a reputation for innovative and outstanding service delivery with total assets in excess of $300 million and an annual operating budget of $37 million.