The announcement of significant investment in public and community housing will improve the health of thousands of Victorians, says community health service cohealth.
cohealth applauds the State Government strategy to prioritise social housing as part of Victoria’s pandemic recovery.
“So many of the health problems that we see are prevented through having safe, secure, affordable homes,” said Nicole Bartholomeusz, CEO.
cohealth’s Homelessness and Health Support team which operates out of the Central City clinic in the CBD delivers social, health and welfare support to people experiencing homelessness, with GPs, nurses, allied health, counselling, mental health services and alcohol and drug treatment all under one roof. The cohealth workers at Central City see first-hand the impact that a lack of decent housing has on people’s health.
In addition to the services at Central City, cohealth undertakes outreach to the rough sleepers currently staying in hotels, and residents in dozens of rooming houses across Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs including Yarra, Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong and Hobson’s Bay, as well as a caravan park in Laverton.
In addition to impacts on mental health, people in sub-standard accommodation are prone to other health issues including chronic illness, poor diet and nutrition, respiratory problems and addiction.
“This announcement gives hope to the many people who are couchsurfing, surviving in crowded rooming houses and living on the fringes in caravan parks. We look forward to being able to adapt our health services to support people in a stable home environment,” said Ms Bartholomueusz.
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cohealth is a Victorian not-for-profit community health organisation that strives to improve health and wellbeing for all. It 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.