VincentCare Victoria welcomes people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse or intersex.
At VincentCare, we understand that if you’re LGBTI, you might face some additional challenges.
We know that LGBTI people – and especially young trans people – are over-represented in the homelessness population. We know that some LGBTI people experience anxiety and depression, mental health issues, family violence and substance abuse issues and that these can be the result of trauma, stigma, rejection or discrimination. We’re here to help.
About our services
VincentCare is a specialist housing and homelessness service that supports people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or experiencing a housing crisis.
This includes couch surfing, emergency or insecure accommodation, rooming or boarding housing – or being kicked out of home and having nowhere to go.
- help you find crisis accommodation
- support you to find sustainable housing
- refer you to other LGBTI-friendly services
- provide information about support or peer groups
- help with mental health, alcohol or drug issues, general health or family violence.
Celebrating people in all their diversity
VincentCare’s aim is to achieve the best outcomes possible for people who need our support; and to ensure the service we provide is respectful, inclusive and tailored to individual needs. Our staff are well-informed and sensitive to the lived experience of LGBTI people, and they understand the complexities and challenges LGBTI people face when accessing services.
Jo Serafim works at our Northern Community Hub in Glenroy, and holds close to her heart an experience she had while conducting intake with an older gentleman:
I'm always drawn to the memory of completing intake with an older male gentleman, and I had one of ‘those moments’ where I knew that his life had changed forever.
I asked the usual range of range of questions, including if he was part of any communities or if he wished to be linked in with previous interests or specific supports. It was during this conversation that we somehow slipped into gender and sexuality questions. I asked him if he was part of the LGBTIQ Community. There was a huge pause and he finally responded: I’m not part of that. I’m not a (insert derogatory word).
I moved on quickly, and we completed the assessment. As I was going through the next steps and discussing what he could expect in the referral process, he stopped me and said: Jo, I am gay. I’ve been gay forever. I’ve never told anyone and I’ve never been asked, but I want you to know.
He then started to sniffle; I’m guessing he was crying.
In that honest moment he had chosen to come out for the first time in his life. I was able to suggest some services he could access and refer him for support around his health. I sent him a range of information with a heartfelt note encouraging him to take the journey and wishing him all the luck in the world.
Today when I think about that conversation, I am still a little overwhelmed at how powerful that moment was and that is why I have no issues with asking those questions. I’m happy to ask a thousand people about their sexuality and just sit in the moment if one person, just one, is liberated from a lifetime of secrecy and shame.
Fiona Pole is a Case Manager within VincentCare’s LGBTI portfolio and works with young LGBTI clients at our Northern Communty Hub in Glenroy.
“The needs of LGBTI clients differ somewhat from non LGBTI clients. I'm proud to work for an organisation that recognises an ‘I treat everyone the same’ approach doesn’t always work. - Fiona Pole
Other support available
We also have a community drop-in centre that offers a range of services:
- breakfast and lunch
- showers and laundry
- housng support
- general health
- counselling for alcohol and other drugs
- financial support
Ozanam Community Centre
268 Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne
T: 03 9329 6733
Centre Hours: 9.00am - 2.30pm | Monday - Friday
Breakfast service: 9.15am-10.00am | Monday - Friday
Lunch service: 12.00pm-1.00pm | Monday - Friday
By appointment: 2.30pm - 5.00pm | Monday - Friday
Northern Community Hub
175 Glenroy Road, Glenroy 3046
T: 03 9304 0809