At Evolve Housing we encourage our residents to get involved with their community, helping others, making friends, and supporting each other.
Our community greening project, Going Green, brings together local residents to build functional community gardens. The gardens, managed entirely by residents, produce sustainable fruit, vegetables and herbs, and are a fun and productive way for residents to engage socially across neighbourhood networks.
Evolve has partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (RBGS) Community Greening program to help you to develop new skills in gardening, grow your own food and learn more about sustainable living.
There is no cost to residents – Evolve provides you with all the tools and supplies you need to support the garden, and the RBGS program provides all the plants. Staff from the RBGS Community Greening program support you with visits throughout the process to keep your knowledge up to date, check in on the garden and teach you new skills to keep your garden healthy and productive.
The Residents Council exists to be the voice of all Evolve Housing residents.
The Council works together with Evolve staff to make sure the needs of the residents are being heard.
Help Evolve Housing staff understand what it is like to be a resident
- Let us know what you think about our services.
- Tell us what events and programs you would like us to provide for tenants.
- Give us feedback to help us do better.
When you join the Council you will be asked to attend a minimum of 8 out of the 12 meetings held each year. The meetings run for approximately 2 hours and might be during the day or evening, depending on what works best for most members.
By joining the Residents Council you are agreeing to share our values when you are taking part in meetings, working with staff and other volunteers or representing Evolve Housing.
The council meets once a month in the Evolve Housing office at Parramatta. We provide lunch or a light evening meal, and the group talks about issues that affect all residents like Evolve Housing social activities, deciding what training programs we provide to residents, ideas to improve our overall service, and producing the Resident newsletter to help residents to stay engaged and informed.
The Residents Council actively influence:
- policies and procedures;
- resident events and activities;
- tenancy management;
- support programs and training;
- improvement in community blocks;
- our resident newsletter.
Anyone who is a resident of Evolve Housing can be on the Council. We actively engage a diverse mix of people to represent the interests of all of our residents, and particularly encourage involvement by:
- young people;
- people from non-English speaking backgrounds;
- single people;
- couples and parents;
- people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
- people with disabilities;
- older people;
- People from the LGBTQI community.
You don’t need any special skills; your English doesn’t need to be perfect; you don’t need to know how to use a computer or have access to the internet.
We are looking for everyday people who live in our properties and have opinions about how we can do things better.
Residents Council members say that being part of group has had a positive impact on their local community. By joining the Residents Council you are able to raise local issues or concerns directly with the management of Evolve Housing. By letting us know directly what is important to your block or local area we are able to improve our services. We know that this is a two way street but unless we know what the issues are we can’t make improvements.
Other benefits include the social aspect and the positive impact being part of a group can have on your confidence. The monthly meetings mean you get to meet new friends and to know more of your neighbours.
We pay your travel costs to attend meetings so you are never out of pocket because you are part of the group. We provide a light meal will be provided at every meeting, and there is plenty of time to socialise before and after meetings.
While there are many benefits of being part of the Residents Council it is important to understand that you will not be treated differently – either positively or negatively – because you are part of the Council.
Personal Support Plan
A plan you develop with a support worker from Evolve to help you get any support you or a member of your family might need to settle into your new home, manage the ongoing tenancy or deal with any personal health and well-being issues.
At the same time you get given your keys to your new home a support worker from Evolve’s Support Unit will sit with you to ask you some questions about any other support you or a member of your family may need help with.
This might be assistance with understanding the programs and activities happening in your local community, help you to understand resident groups operating in your neighborhood., getting financial help with furniture and goods to furnish your home, assistance with how to manage rental payments, assistance with a physical or mental health problem, getting help if your children have learning difficulties or to meet school equipment or sporting costs , getting counselling or support for those leaving Domestic and Family violence or assistance with programs to help with skills and training to improve job readiness. The type of support will be tailored to your or your family’s specific needs.
If you identify any needs the support worker will make a subsequent appointment to come and see you and discuss with you what support you need in more detail, what options are available, and help you to get the right support. The support you need may be a one off assistance, or be needed over a short or for a longer period of time.
The support needs you identify and the actions you agree to take including any specialist services we refer you to, with your consent, are recorded in your Support Plan. The Plan allows Evolve Housing to check in with you and the support provider periodically to make sure you are getting the services you need, determine if you think the services have made a positive difference and help inform how service delivery can be improved.
If you are an existing tenant and need support you can speak with your housing manager who will ask a support worker to meet with you.
Support may include financial support to help meet the costs of certain services, support with accessing education training and skill development to increase job readiness and secure employment, assistance with services to help you live independently in your home, assistance with referrals to specialist support for personal health or well-being.
We may be able to help you directly with one of the services or programs Evolve Housing delivers or, with your consent, we may refer you to an external service that deals with specifically with your needs such as aged care services , family services, services to assist children with learning difficulties, physical disability and mental health services, drug and alcohol services. Support plans can also be prepared to assist with educational or training goals, to access job readiness courses or to develop specific skills, gain training qualifications and get help with work experience and placements to increase your ability to gain employment. A support officer will help you to understand the range of educational, training and skill development and employment options available including those with fee waivers or reduced costs and link you to the training and employment services best able to help you acquire the skills, work experience or start courses in fields you have expressed an interest in.
Join your Local Resident Group
Meet your neighbours, share ideas, and strengthen your community by joining your local resident group. Local Resident Groups (LRGs) meet to discuss and organise social activities for their neighbourhoods/blocks. This is an opportunity to share your ideas and a great way to meet other residents who live in your neighbourhood.
Each LRG decides how often it wants to meet and what issues to discuss. We will help you to set up and facilitate your first meetings to start you on the way to independently running the Group.
Current Local Resident Groups
At the church next to 84-86 Joseph Street Kingswood
Unit 49 Devitt Street Blacktown
Common area 57-59 High Street Parramatta
(Common RM) 33-39 Parr Parade Narraweena
(Common RM) 3 Dumul Place Hebersham
Unit 16 38-39 Rance Rd Werrington
36-44 Hope Street, Seven Hills
Friendship Aged Network (FAN) group
The Friendship Aged Network began in 2006, as an initiative by the Evolve Housing Residents Council. Our Friendship Aged Network volunteer residents support senior residents who live alone. They contact the aged residents each week to connect socially and check on their general well-being. Our volunteers come from different ethnic backgrounds which helps them communicate with our diverse groups of residents. They call the residents in their own homes for a friendly chat, and take them on fun and varied day trips throughout the year.
Social gatherings and outings we organise throughout the year for our aged residents include the Annual Nepean Belle Cruise, day trips throughout Sydney, and our annual end of year lunch.
The FAN program recognises the impacts of social isolation on our residents, and supports them to to stay in their home for as long as possible.
If you would like take part in the Friendship Aged Network as either a volunteer or participant call 1800 MYEVOLVE (1800 693 865) or contact us.