Better Health and Housing Program and COVID-19 Isolation and Recovery Facility (Sumner House)

Service overview

The Better Health and Housing Program (BHHP) and the Covid Isolation and Recovery Facility (CIRF) provide a coordinated health and housing response for people experiencing homelessness.

Both services are located at Sumner House in Fitzroy, and delivered in partnership by St Vincent’s with Launch Housing and The Brotherhood of St Laurence 

  • CIRF provides a safe and secure place for people experiencing homelessness to isolate whilst they have COVID-19.
  • The BHHP is a residential-based integrated health and homelessness service for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness and poor health.  The provision of support coupled with stable housing aims to break the cycle of chronic homelessness and poor health for BHHP participants.  Participants will be supported under the BHHP over a period of three to six months, during which they are expected to experience an improvement to their quality-of-life and reduction in demand on unplanned / emergency health services, welfare, and justice systems.

Team members

  • Care Coordinators (Nurses and Occupational Therapists)
  • Nurses and Medical Assistants (Graduate Paramedics)
  • Lived Experience Worker
  • Launch Housing Support Workers

Service delivery

  • 24hour / 7 day service
  • CIRF referrals and admissions accepted 7days between 8am and 5pm
  • BHHP referrals accepted and planned admissions Monday – Friday, 9am-4pm

Eligibility criteria

The participants in the CIRF program will be:

  • Adults experiencing homelessness
  • Positive for COVID-19

The participants of the BHHP service will be: 

  • Aged 30 years and over, with additional priority given to residents aged over 40 years
    N.B. Individuals who identify as Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander will be given additional priority.  
  • Experiencing chronic homelessness including rough sleeping, staying in emergency accommodation, or housing that is otherwise unsuitable;
  • Have physical or mental health issues that prevent them from thriving in unsupported accommodation AND this health issue is anticipated to be able to be addressed during their stay; and
  • Are expressing a ‘readiness for change’- seeking support for these issues, and agree to engage in their own goal directed care during their stay

Referral process

Referrals to the CIRF Program to be directed to CIRFteamleader@SVHA.org.au

CIRF referral form (download Word document)

Referrals for the Better Health and Housing Referral Program to be directed to BHHPReferrals@svha.org.au

BHHP referral form (download Word document)

Contact details 

0437 059 267