Immediate shelter for rough sleepers and those escaping crisis situations
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.
Our facilities have been designed to accommodate a diverse range of homeless people, wherever they are on their journey to recovery. This will include the provision of 134 accommodation rooms in total – responding to short, medium to long-term housing and wrap-around support needs. Crisis accommodation clients are one of the streams of homeless Victorians that VincentCare supports – here’s how we will address their unique needs and what they can expect.
The new Hub will include 60 crisis accommodation units. These rooms will provide clients with comfortable, clean and safe accommodations with 24-hour access. A small number of VincentCare staff will be present on-site at all times to provide support – particularly where a sudden or emergent need arises.
These rooms are separate to our medium and long-term dwellings. A person living in these facilities can expect a room with fixed furnishings that enables them to gain a good night’s sleep, take care of hygiene needs in an ensuite bathroom, keep their belongings in storage, and feel a sense of security and privacy. Crisis clients will be provided with the option of three meals a day, offered through community dining for breakfast and lunch, and meals which can be taken to their rooms at dinner time.
There will be access to several dedicated communal areas including: a laundry; bike storage; and common room on each floor with good light, ventilation and cleanliness, offering couches, chairs, tables and a television. Safety and support is assured by secure staff stations on each floor, and CCTV and security features.
There are many things we consider in matching a client with the facilities and care they need. This includes how the person became homeless, the level of family support they have, and how long they have been homeless. For many men and women who have been sleeping rough on the streets, or who may be escaping crisis situations – such as a sudden loss of accommodation, or leaving behind domestic violence – these rooms provide an immediate response to meet basic needs.
There will be two types of crisis accommodation available:
- Rapid access rooms: for people sleeping rough on the streets needing immediate shelter and material support; and
- Supported short-stay rooms: for clients whose needs have been fully assessed and who will need crisis accommodation for longer.
In general, our crisis accommodation clients will stay in these rooms for between four to 12 weeks – depending on the plan that has been customised to address their ongoing needs, and to connect them with resources.
Homeless clients admitted to crisis accommodation facilities do not ‘go it alone’ with a simple room for board. They will receive client-centred, case-managed support at each step. Where possible, VincentCare will help these clients to reconnect with trusted family or previous lodgings, or to find them accommodations they can move on to, so that they do not end up on the streets or in an unsafe situation. If longer-term accommodations are required, these clients may transition to our medium-stay facilities.
Crisis rooms are just one vital element of the holistic community response that the new accommodation hub and resource centre will provide.
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