New support services for the homeless


Work is underway at the site of VincentCare’s $44 million redevelopment of Ozanam House, which provides a mix of homelessness services to Victorians.

Assisted by a $10 million Andrews Labor Government grant, this redevelopment will enable VincentCare to more than double its client base, an official press release said on March 16.

Starting this month, the redevelopment is expected to be completed by September 2018 and will accommodate 135 people who have experienced homelessness within a mix of crisis, transitional and longer-term independent living accommodation.

VincentCare is currently working with other local homelessness service providers to ensure the existing Ozanam House residents are rehoused safely.

During the redevelopment, VincentCare will also refocus its Ozanam Community Centre as a homelessness resource centre and prioritise a range of health, case management and support programs for men and women currently experiencing homelessness.

Residents in the new accommodation will also receive tailored service responses which reflect the required intensity and duration of support based on their individual need.

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley said, “We are working to provide Victorians in need with all the support we can to get them back on their feet –starting with housing. Ozanam House and VincentCare have been providing support to single men and this redevelopment will enable them to extend that support to include women.

“Dealing with homelessness requires a whole of community response and we all have a role in finding a solution. That’s why we are working with organisations like VincentCare to think outside the square.”

VincentCare CEO John Blewonski said, “Up to 100 people experiencing primary and secondary homelessness will be supported via the Homeless Resource Centre each day, while 135 individual apartments will provide much needed housing to some of the State’s most marginalised men and women. We will provide an integrated service model, offering clients easy to navigate pathways from initial engagement, through to the provision of customised care management services, referrals and linkages to opportunities for social inclusion and active community participation.”