Library win

FREMANTLE LIBRARY has won a state award for a program linking vulnerable users with support services.

Launched in September, the Library Connect program gave people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence or financial stress access to an on-site community support worker from St Pat’s.

The support worker provided initial support, as well as connection and referrals to services offering financial, housing and emergency relief. 

They also helped train library staff on working with people experiencing trauma.

Earlier this month the Library Board of Western Australia awarded Freo library the award for innovation and collaboration.

Fremantle council community development director Michelle Brennand said 363 people had used the service so far, and it was reaching a different clientele from St Pat’s.

“Most of the clients are women, many from culturally and linguistically diverse, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds who have never presented themselves to a crisis care provider,” Ms Brennand said.

“Instead, they are reaching out to our community social worker in the library because the library is seen as a safe, non-judgemental and inclusive place”. 

St Pat’s CEO Michael Piu said the award creates a valuable platform to advocate for the expansion of the program, which will remain in its ‘pilot’ phase until September this year.

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