Homeless & Elderly Will Soon Have A Home In Sydney - Hope 103.2

Homeless & Elderly Will Soon Have A Home In Sydney

Elderly, homeless people in Sydney with high needs, will soon have somewhere to call home - at a facility built by St Johns Anglican Church and HammondCare.

By Clare BruceThursday 2 Jun 2016Hope BreakfastNewsReading Time: 3 minutes

Listen: Edward Vaughn of St Johns Church Darlinghurst talks about the eldercare facility HammondCare will build next to their church.

When an elderly, homeless person in Sydney suffers a health issue, they’re usually taken to hospital and treated—then sent back to the street to continue sleeping rough.

Either that, or they’re relocated to a nursing home in somewhere like Katoomba, far from all they know.

But soon, there’ll be a place for them to go, thanks to a partnership between St Johns Anglican Church in Darlinghurst, and the Christian-based eldercare group HammondCare.

With a $1.5 million grant from City of Sydney Council, they’ll build an aged care home next to the church on Darlinghurst Road, on a site that currently houses a car wash.

Homeless Dementia Facility the First in NSW

Senior woman in poverty

Reverend Edward Vaughn, the rector at St Johns church, spoke to Hope 103.2 about the project, saying the facility would become a long-term home for up to 47 people currently living on the streets. It will focus on elderly people with specific high-care needs such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or mental illness.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

Rev Vaughn said there was currently no other facility like it in NSW.

“Unbelievably, there really isn’t another facility in NSW that does what we and Hammond Care are going to do at this place,” he said.

“There’s just this endless revolving door of people in and out of hospitals.”

“The situation at the moment is, if a homeless person gets quite ill with something, they go into St Vincent’s Hospital, say, and they’ll deal with that one specific issue, they’ll get better, and then they’ll put them out in the street again—because they don’t have anywhere else to put them. So they’ll end up sleeping in a park or whatever again, until something else happens.

“There’s just this endless revolving door of people in and out of hospitals.”

He said St Vincent’s Hospital were thrilled to hear the 47-bed facility was being built and were already asking when ‘the next one’ was coming.  And his church community was very excited about the project, too.

“We believe it 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,” he said.

St John’s church has been working with homeless people for almost 30 years through education programs, social work services, and their Rough Edges café.

A New Step For HammondCare

Young person holding older person's hand

While HammondCare is a world leader in the field of dementia care, working with homeless people will be a new step. They’ll build the facility with a long term lease on the St John’s Anglican site.

HammondCare chief executive Dr Stephen Judd said the Darlinghurst area had one of the highest concentrations of aged homeless in NSW.

And the number of people living homeless in later life is growing, with an increasing number being older women. In 2015 study the City of Sydney’s Homelessness Unit found that 15 per cent of people sleeping rough or in short-term accommodation were over the age of 55.

Dr Judd said HammondCare wanted to help make life better for these people.

“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,” he said.

Get Involved

Further funds are needed to bring the project to life. To support or find out more contact HammondCare on 1300 426 666.