Homelessness has changed significantly since it first opened its doors. The older men living on the streets are now predominately men aged in their 30s and 40s, who have significant mental health and substance abuse issues that significantly affect their ability to find safe and secure housing.
The main issue for men who present to Ozanam House, either via direct entry or referral from other agencies, is homelessness. This is often coupled with other issues such as intravenous drug use, alcohol use, domestic violence, refugee status, gambling and unemployment.
The use of methamphetamines (such as ice) is more common now than a few years ago. There has been a noticeable peak in use as well as those suffering from the long-term effects, such as acquired brain injuries and other health concerns.
Mental health issues are also common, with men experiencing a range of issues that put themselves or others at risk. Staff support the men to help them stabilise the cycle of negative. But it can be a revolving door, as they go from service to service.
Due to a chronic lack of affordable housing options for those who cannot afford private rental, many clients will return to Ozanam House, as they have nowhere else to go. A decade ago men leaving Ozanam House waited between three to six months to secure public housing. They are now waiting between three to five years.
The Inner Melbourne Community Hub is the inner-city accommodation and support service hub located in North Melbourne and Fitzroy. It includes residential services, housing support, case management services, a drop-in centre, meals and more.
Our Inner Melbourne facilities include:
- Ozanam House: a supported crisis accommodation service for homeless men.
- Ozanam Community Centre: provides a range of support, health, housing and recreational opportunities for homeless people, or those at risk of homelessness.
- Quin House: an abstinence based residential service supporting men with substance abuse issues through the delivery of a range of therapeutic and support programs.
- Reconstructing Life After Dependency program: assists clients once they leave Quin House to maintain a stable housing and substance free lifestyle by addressing a range of psycho-social needs including education, employment and housing.
- Adult Outreach Support Services: intensive case management support through adult outreach services and support programs.