Respite program aims to end ‘revolving door’ for Perth’s unwell homeless people – Michmutters

Respite program aims to end ‘revolving door’ for Perth’s unwell homeless people

Losing her leg to cancer was a traumatic enough experience for Anthea Corbett — but having no home to recover in made things much worse from a psychological and emotional perspective.

“It was hard because, you know, the same time, when you’re homeless, you just want to stay alive,” she said.

“Basically, you’ve got to protect yourself and you got to be careful, because some people are rough, especially guys, when it comes to a woman being homeless.”

A new Perth program is offering respite for homeless people who have just come out of hospital, addressing the “revolving door” issue that sees them struggle to recover on the streets.

The exterior of a beautiful, old house in Northbridge, surrounded by trees.
The respite center caters for homeless people leaving hospital.(ABC News: David Weber )

Inspired by how the US city of Boston, Massachusetts tackles health care for the homeless, an old backpacker accommodation in Northbridge has been transformed into a short-stay facility for homeless people who have been discharged from hospital.

The Medical Respite Center is funded by the Department of Health with philanthropic support and offers 20 medical and 10 non-medical beds, providing a safe place to sleep and recover and helping connect people with health care services and support to get housing and accommodation.

homeless people die younger

Homeless Healthcare chief executive Andrew Davies, who initiated the set up of the StayWitch’s service, said the interaction between health and homelessness was “huge.”

“We’re finding that the average age of death is about 48 years old, which is incredibly poor when you compare it to the mainstream community,” he said.


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