COVID learnings transformed to improve the health, housing and wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness

The pandemic required the rapid formation of a consortium of agencies to deliver Melbourne’s homelessness COVID Isolation and Recovery Facilities. Working in partnership, the consortium recognised the need for a longer, recovery-focused approach to supporting people experiencing homelessness, a population over-represented as having co-existing mental illness and alcohol and drug dependencies. The inter-agency partnership representing health, housing and welfare enabled the development of the innovative Better Health and Housing Program (BHHP).
This presentation will describe the partnership approach taken from concept inception through to BHHP implementation. It will focus on the context that enabled the conceptualisation of the BHHP model, the methodology used to develop the model of care, the process undertaken to design the monitoring framework and reflect on the learnings from implementation to inform future program development opportunities.


Samantha Corrie, Continuous Improvement Coach (former Manager, Sumner House) St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Samantha Corrie is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years’ experience, who is committed to ensuring access to excellent health care for society’s most marginalised. During the pandemic Sam supported the establishment of COVID Isolation and Recovery Facilities for people experiencing homelessness, and subsequently managed the Better Health and Housing Program at Sumner House.

Jessica McMeniman, Acting Program Manager, Sumner House Launch Housing

Jessica McMeniman is the Launch Housing Program Manager for the Better Health & Housing Program. A Social Worker with nine years’ experience in the Housing and Homelessness sectors, Jessica’s career history spans front-line service delivery across tenancy support and crisis homelessness in both Queensland and Victoria.

Claire Doherty, Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Claire, the Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, has worked across clinical, operations and project management areas of healthcare at both a health service and State Government level. Claire combined her keen interests in monitoring and evaluation frameworks and working with priority communities to support the BHHP framework development and implementation.


Click here to view the Presentation Slides