A one-stop all-inclusive "super centre" to help homeless people has opened in Melbourne as the number of Aboriginal people 'sleeping rough' in Victoria continues to rise.
VincentCare’s $47 million Ozanam House in North Melbourne will provide accommodation and services including a health and specialist dental care clinic, legal services, a library, cleaning amenities, IT training, an Internet cafe, battery re-charging stations, kitchen, and personal and financial counselling.
The centre will cater for up to 250 people a day with 134 short - medium and long term rooms and apartments specifically designed to support people recover from homelessness.
“Homelessness in Victoria and Australia is a serious health and social emergency, which is why we are unveiling the most comprehensive response ever seen in this country,” the chief executive of VincentCare, Quinn Pawson, said in a statement.
“This new approach will allow us to assist more people than ever before.”
The centre will cater to men, women, transgender, other gender and sexually diverse people.
Mr Pawson said VincentCare had spent several years researching major homelessness centres internationally and around Australia and consulting with leading experts on Homelessness Recovery to inform the design and operation of the centre.
“We will support people to make lasting and sustainable changes to their lives, whether that be accessing training and education, re-connecting with family and community, improving health or finding secure housing,” said Mr Pawson.
Last year one in six Indigenous people living within Victoria experienced homelessness according to statistics obtained from the Council to Homeless Persons.
Over 2017-2018, 9,428 First Nations people in Victoria sought help from a homelessness service in Victoria.