Pioneering project for people experiencing homelessness

30 Mar 2023

Thanks to generous seed funding provided by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF), St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM), is laying the foundation to offer safe accommodation to people experiencing homelessness for the duration of their medical treatment.

St Vincent’s Emergency Department receives approximately 4,000 visits from people experiencing homelessness every year. Whilst we work hard to secure a supported discharge for people following their stay, our options are limited. It is estimated around 50% of these patients are discharged back onto the street, something we are committed to changing.  

Staying true to our mission to help people who are poor or vulnerable, SVHM’s Healthcare for the Homeless team is making plans to undertake an ambitious redevelopment of a property in Fitzroy. The aim is to provide accommodation for people who are experiencing homelessness, have been cared for at St Vincent’s, and who need to recover while receiving further treatment.

Funding from the LMCF enabled a feasibility study to be undertaken to assess the conversion of a hospital-owned property, Salisbury Place, into a ‘fit for purpose’ accommodation facility.

IMAGE: L to R: Katrina Rushworth, SVHM Homeless Health Senior Project Officer, Una McKeever, SVHM Healthcare for the Homeless Manager outside Salisbury Place.

Katrina Rushworth, SVHM Homeless Health Senior Project Officer said, “It is widely recognised that health and homelessness are inextricably linked, with homelessness contributing significantly to poorer health outcomes. It is also known that health issues can be a major contributing cause of a person becoming homeless. Without stable housing, a person’s capacity to follow up with necessary medical care after hospital discharge can further compound both their health issues and vulnerability to homelessness.”

The Salisbury Place team will work with relevant housing and psychosocial support agencies, alongside medical and nursing staff, to develop care and support plans for each person. Residents will be able to stay for up to six months in order for their health issues to be addressed, including mental health and substance use, prior to being discharged into longer-term housing.

Thank you to The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation 

We are extremely grateful to the LMCF for their visionary support for this project that will innovate how we deliver healthcare to patients experiencing homelessness.

Funding is required to advance this project. To learn more, please email or call (03) 9231 3365.


St Vincent's Foundation
Ground floor
Rear, 55 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065