User participation is an integral part of understanding our client's needs, how we can best provide for them, and how we can improve client outcomes.
VincentCare’s Client Advisory Committee (CAC) representatives are former and current clients who have lived homelessness. They provide an important client perspective on homelessness related issues, and we use their experience and expertise to identify what improvements we can make so people with limited resources can easily access essential services.
Allan Martin joined VincentCare’s Client Advisory Committee in 2017. He has a long history of advocacy work and has experienced homelessness first-hand.
“Going from owning a successful hauling business to being homeless broke me. It was being able to go to the Ozanam Community Centre (OCC) that saved me. Having a place to sit and rest without the cares of the world worked for me in that moment. I could start to think about rebuilding my life".
"The reason I joined the committee is because it looks at the overall benefit to society, and that’s not having people on the street everywhere. People living on the street just descend into depression and despair. - Allan Martin
"A priority of the committee right now is to advise VincentCare on the practicalities of the new Inner Melbourne redevelopment and the transition of people who use the Ozanam Community Centre on a regular basis, and how they will integrate into the new development. I’s great to have all the services under one roof, but if it’s not done properly, it’s going to leave a lot of gaps, and part of what we discuss and advise on is how best to plus those gaps.”
"You can only have your say, and you just have to keep saying it. At the end of the day, everybody owes a duty of care to those less fortunate."