Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    $25million for accommodation for aged and disadvantaged

    10/01/2008 11:30 AM
     
    10/01/08

    Perth’s older, disadvantaged, homeless and mentally unwell men will be able to access secure accommodation more easily with the building of a new hostel in East Perth.

    Australian Government Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot and Western Australian Health Minister Jim McGinty said a joint funding initiative, totalling almost $25million, would be used by not-for-profit organisation St Bartholomew’s House to develop a new aged and crisis care centre.

    The new facility would provide an extra 59 beds for aged and vulnerable men in the Perth area.

    “The Australian Government’s commitment of $7.33million, together with State Government grants totalling $17.6million, will allow the construction of a new 40-place aged care service, as well as a 54-bed crisis and transitional hostel and 39 self-contained units,” Mrs Elliot said.

    “It will replace St Bartholomew’s existing facility, the James Watson Hostel, which presently provides accommodation for up to 74 frail-aged and disadvantaged men.

    “In addition, St Bartholomew’s House will receive an extra $326,820 each year in recurrent Commonwealth funding to provide the 20 additional aged care places.

    “This is about working in partnership with our State counterparts. The new facility will mean that 133 vulnerable men will have a safe and comfortable place to stay each night.”

    In addition to financial support, the State Government will also provide the site for the new hostel at a peppercorn rent. The new centre is expected to be completed by June 2009.

    Mr McGinty said the facility complemented other community-based accommodation projects being built by State Government to house people with a mental illness.

    “Many of the men who will use this centre will have a mental illness - ranging from dementia and depression to schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder,” he said.

    “For more than 40 years, St Bartholomew’s House has done an invaluable job providing housing for people who are homeless, have an ongoing mental illness; or are elderly and disadvantaged. It’s important that Government supports this important work.”

    In addition to contributing toward the cost of the new facility, the WA Department of Health provides St Bartholomew’s House with almost $800,000 in annual funding. The WA Department of Child Protection, in conjunction with the Australian Government, provides more than $400,000 in annual funding for crisis and transitional accommodation.

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