History

Mallee Accommodation & Support Program (MASP) evolved through the amalgamation of two former local agencies in 1994. These agencies were the Sunraysia Youth Accommodation Project (SYAP) and the Sunraysia Emergency Accommodation Centre (SEAC) – Emmaus House.


The bringing together of both organisations was recommended as a result of a service system review conducted by the Department of Human Services. In addition, the amalgamation also saw the absorption of another supported accommodation service targeting families, at the time being delivered by the Christian Outreach Centre.


The establishment of SYAP (1980) and SEAC (1982) were the direct result of the voluntary efforts of caring community members in response to a pressing need for services to the homeless and disadvantaged. Initially, each group worked toward addressing the need to accommodate homeless people on an unfunded basis. In the mid eighties both agencies received funding to establish their respective services with paid staff. Emmaus House was built in the early eighties and was well supported by over 60 volunteers.


The amalgamation in 1994 brought the combined staffing complement to 8 and provided funding for a designated manager. It established MASP as a cross-target service to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness including youth, families and single adults.


Programmatically, however, operations remained separate - the youth program operated from the Vineleaf Rural Student Hostel, the family program from Deakin House and the adult program from Emmaus House.


Eventually, management of all programs was delivered from the one location, with the acquisition of office premises at 140 Langtree Ave in late 1998.


In January 1999, the agency experienced significant growth with the outsourcing of the Adolescent Placement & Support Program from the Department of Human Services. Initially, with only two full time staff, this program has grown considerably, delivering a range of integrated programs including home-based placements, Intensive Case Management Service, Residential Care and the Leaving Care Program.


The adjacent building at 138 Langtree Ave was acquired in 2001 to accommodate the growing number of staff.


A further acquisition of 142 Langtree Ave in 2007 was achieved to accommodate the newly funded Family Services program. This program was further enhanced in 2008 when MASP was selected as the provider of ChildFIRST across the Mallee catchment.


In addition, MASP has expanded service provision to respond to the needs of young people with disabilities.


In total MASP has grown considerably, currently employing 45 full time staff, 15 part time staff and 20 casual staff to deliver the varied programs across the Northern Mallee.