cohealth’s CBD community drop-in is a one-stop shop

Released on 25th April 2023
  • cohealth and City of Melbourne’s Micro-Labs will collaborate to deliver monthly pop-up for vulnerable people in the CBD 
  • On offer: Free barbers, art activities, computer access, nurse and health appointments, Centrelink support and new clothes from Thread Together, a NFP which diverts excess stock from fashion retailers to people in need  
  • Marginalised people in CBD suffer from social isolation, says cohealth 
  • Improving people’s health needs a holistic mental, physical and social approach 

A monthly drop-in for people doing it tough kicks off on 26 April at 227-229 Bourke Street offering free haircuts, new clothes and shoes, connections to health workers, access to computers and laundry facilities, as well as the opportunity to take part in art activities, watch Netflix, and chat to Centrelink representatives.  

cohealth has teamed up with City of Melbourne’s social enterprise Micro-Labs to deliver the monthly pop-up for people experiencing homelessness, drug dependence or other disadvantage in the CBD. 

Thanks to not-for-profit, Thread Together, excess stock from some of Australia’s largest fashion retailers will also be on offer. 

Operating one Wednesday a month in April, May and June, cohealth says the drop-in service will help community members to access health and social support in addition to meeting their basic food, hygiene and clothing needs.

cohealth staff – a peer worker, recreation and inclusion worker and outreach nurse –will be present at the space to provide support, answer questions and to link community members with other services.

Loneliness and isolation are common among people experiencing homelessness or drug dependence, so having a friendly, welcoming space to go to is key to improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

“Recreation and social inclusion is so important for people who are homeless. cohealth works with people from this community to find out what activities they want and need, and then designs services that reflect their needs,” says Ronnie Basa, cohealth Recreation and Inclusion Worker.

“Within the harm reduction framework, promoting social inclusion is also one of the ways we can help people to reduce problematic drug use, and improve health outcomes.” 

cohealth designed the pop-up based on consultations with the target user group. 

“People experiencing homeless don’t often get to make choices based on what they want and need, so cohealth collaborated with the people who would use this service so it was tailored to them.”

cohealth is proud to collaborate with the City of Melbourne to access the Micro-Lab space.  

 cohealth CBD Community hub pop-up 

Dates of operation: Wednesday 26 April, 17 May, 14 June 

Time: 11am – 3pm 

Location: 227-229 Bourke St, Melbourne (opposite KMart) 

Attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp: 

“Everyone deserves a space to feel safe and welcomed, and this new pop-up offers our most vulnerable community members exactly that.” 

“This initiative will provide rough sleepers some much-needed respite, along with access to basic necessities like food, clothing, entertainment and peer support networks.”


— Ends —    

More on cohealth:    

cohealth is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit community health organisation that strives to improve health and wellbeing for all.  cohealth provides universal access to services as well as targeted programs and assertive models to address the health disparities experienced by disadvantaged groups. cohealth offers a broad range of high quality, integrated health and support services, including medical, oral, pharmacy, mental health and drug and alcohol services.    


more information:  Lanie Harris 0418 552 377    



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