On any given night, more than 6000 men, women and children are homeless in South Australia. More than 47% of these have a combination of physical, mental and substance abuse issues.
Often, they are often reluctant to engage with primary health services and when they do, they often remain in hospital care longer than necessary because they do not have a safe place to return to.
In response, Baptist Care SA has partnered with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) to launch the Homeless Respite Centre pilot.
This offers safe, supportive accommodation and 24/7 social support services for up to 10 people at any given time. They receive both health care and case management to connect them with services (including long term accommodation) to address the social determinants of their ill-health. Since the Centre opened on the 13 January, 39 clients have been welcomed through the doors.
The pilot is the first in a series of steps Baptist Care SA is taking towards the vision of a more comprehensive Health and Wellbeing Centre, designed to meet the specific needs of homeless people.