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Medium-stay accommodation at Ozanam House.

Maximising an exit from homelessness

Opening in March 2019, VincentCare’s new Ozanam House in North Melbourne will be a world-class, modern and safe location where people experiencing homelessness are given every opportunity to access housing, health and social support services relevant to their individual needs.

Depending on individual circumstances, clients may find the need to transition from crisis care or other external situations to medium stay accommodation. These rooms will complement a Recovery Transition Program - integrating room amenities, case managed support and individual client capacity building. This approach aims to maximise a person’s progression towards an exit from homelessness.

The new Hub will include 48 transitional, medium-stay rooms. Residents who are offered a place in these rooms will generally be provided with 16 to 24 weeks of accommodation and Recovery Innovation Support. Eligibility and timing will depend on individual circumstances, the duration of their homelessness, and pathways to an exit from homelessness.

People who have experienced homelessness for between one and five years may find themselves without ongoing accommodation for a diverse range of reasons. Without intervention, this can become long-term. These clients will often require several attempts to exit homelessness before they are able to find a permanent solution and access to ongoing housing. Those who have been homeless for more than five years may commonly be experiencing multiple, complex support needs. By providing access to accommodation for a medium duration, alongside complementary wrap-around support services, VincentCare can ensure that stability is provided while a recovery transition plan is considered.

People who are accepted into the new medium-term accommodation facilities can expect a welcoming and secure environment with a level of amenity that allows comfortable and safe living. A dedicated 24-hour entrance will be kept separate from short-term crisis facilities. The accommodation will have its own address so that it is distinguishable from the nearby Resource Centre. As residents enter, the foyer will present a space to ‘meet and greet’ where they will have line-of-sight and direct access to VincentCare staff. This ensures that the space facilitates a strong, personable link with clients, providing accessibility and assurance. Storage of larger personal belongings will be given a secure place in the basement storage area, to maximise the living space in the rooms, while respecting personal property. Round the clock access to communal areas such as courtyards, laundry and bicycle storage, as well as break-out spaces and other comforts, will give residents a sense of freedom, respect and autonomy. These facilities will aim to support the stability and confidence that will be needed as residents work towards regaining control of their living situations.

Residents will be provided with access to three meals a day, utilising a voucher system and provided meals for breakfast and lunch within a dedicated medium-term dining hall. Residents will also be given the option of ‘cook and chill’ dinner meals that can be collected and consumed in-room. Common rooms will allow spaces for socialising and relaxing, with entertainment such as televisions. CCTV security and access to staff will support safety.

While staying at the Hub, medium-stay residents will receive planned access to various supports including: a case manager, therapies and counselling, health care and access to other training and education support. It is our aim to transition these clients out of homelessness and to more sustainable housing options, in a respectful and empowering way that addresses their circumstances and needs, while harnessing their strengths.

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