Ruah Community Services, in partnership with Homeless Healthcare and Uniting WA, is continuing to break new ground as part of a consortium of service providers to open the State’s first Medical Respite Centre for people experiencing homelessness.
The State Government will invest $4.4 million over the next two years to establish the facility at the former backpacker’s hostel site in Palmerston Street, Northbridge.
The 20-bed facility will provide a safe place for people leaving hospital to recuperate and receive after care, improving their health outcomes and reducing the likelihood of hospital re-admission.
Ruah CEO Debra Zanella said people experiencing homelessness – particularly rough sleepers – often had complex health issues, which saw them repeatedly return to hospital.
While this was damaging to people’s health, it also put undue strain on hospital emergency resources.
People convalescing at the new centre will also have access to support services to help them find a home, including ID clinics, which help people experiencing homelessness gain photo identification – a crucial step towards securing accommodation.