The Living Room: Providing Holistic Care for Homeless People in the Heart of Melbourne’s CBD

For 20 years The Living Room (TLR) has supported a highly disadvantaged and marginalised community from its site in Melbourne’s iconic Hosier Lane. Although funded as a Specialist AOS Primary Health service, the client group is highly complex, with co-occurring issues spanning AOD, legal, family violence, street-based homelessness, incarceration, mental health, chronic disease and unmanaged conditions. The client group is highly diverse and difficult to engage or retain. They do not fit the expectations of many services, and require intensive (currently un-funded) case management support to access/navigate multiple, non-intersecting systems. The TLR approach provides intensive, coordinated, holistic care while emphasising client autonomy and self-determination. The newly-refurbished TLR delivers safe spaces, trauma-informed practice, and enhanced intersectional capacity, with multiple intersecting specialist services co-located on-site.

Presenters

Richie Goonan Executive Manager Community Health Youth Projects

With over 25 years’ experience in AOD, Community Health, Housing & Homelessness sectors, Richie’s work in policy & programs has achieved lasting client outcomes through strong program design & partnerships. Richie is committed to social justice, challenging status quo by keeping client voices at the centre of decision making, and advocacy to create innovative solutions that create lasting change.