City announces $1.5m grant for aged homeless project

HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd has welcomed the announcement by the City of Sydney of a $1.5 million grant to support construction in Darlinghurst of a residential aged care home for older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The service will be distinctive in providing not just long term accommodation, but higher levels of specialised care for up to 50 older men and women with complex needs.

“HammondCare is absolutely delighted to have the City of Sydney partner with us on in this much needed project, providing residential aged care for older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness," Dr Judd said.

“This grant is testament to the council’s compassion for aged homeless people - a compassion we share - and we look forward to working together in helping to meet this pressing need.

"This is a significant development in an area that has one of the highest concentrations of aged homeless in NSW. We are committed to providing a service that aims to help older people - who are in dire need - regain independence and stability in their lives."

Long-term, stable accommodation

In announcing the grant, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said there was a real need for long-term, stable accommodation and care for older men and women in the greater Sydney area.

“The City of Sydney is committed to supporting older members of our community, especially people facing challenging care needs and who might otherwise fall through the cracks,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’re supporting this important new facility to ensure disadvantaged people are not discriminated against and are treated with kindness and respect.”

The number of people experiencing homelessness in later life is growing significantly, and an increasing number are older women. In 2015, the City’s Homelessness Unit found 15 per cent of people sleeping rough or in short-term accommodation were over 55 years old.  

Partnering with St John's

HammondCare plans to build the home at 118A Darlinghurst Road, currently a car wash, adjacent to St John’s Church. The organisation has a long-term lease on the site from the church, which also runs the Rough Edges cafe, catering for the homeless population in the area.

Rector of St John’s Anglican Church, Darlinghurst, Rev Edward Vaughan, said the church was excited about the project.

“We believe this project will make a significant contribution to the lives of people who are currently homeless, or who are at risk of ending up on the streets.

“St John's has been serving homeless people for almost 30 years through Rough Edges, as well as other ministries like our Legal Centre, Education Program and provision of social work services."

More funds are needed to make this ground-breaking project possible. To give or find out more contact HammondCare on 1300 426 666.