Housing hope

The St Vincent De Paul Society (Vinnies) has opened the new Bethlehem House in North Hobart, with the facility able to assist up to 50 men who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness.

The facility was constructed on the site of the old Waratah Hotel and includes accommodation, meeting rooms, a rooftop garden area and a workshop.

Bethlehem House executive manager Stephen Shreeve said the new facility would provide many opportunities to further enhance the variety of programs that benefited residents’ journey to financial and social stability.

“A new building not only provides a nicer place to dwell, it tells our men they are not forgotten, which goes towards restoring their dignity and provides hope,” he said.

“Many of the facility’s new areas, especially the on-site workshop, will aid residents’ skills development and support the recently launched Employability Program.

“We now also have the ability to accommodate men with dogs, with three kennels within the boundary of the new property.”

The new facility will also include a café open to residents and visitors, and additional support available for those experiencing increased vulnerability with the inclusion of a secure wing.

Politicians, community representatives, St Vincent De Paul Society members and staff from partner organisations were given tours of the facility during the opening day festivities.

Vinnies chief executive officer Heather Kent said it was a significant moment in Vinnies’ history, as the first Bethlehem House was established more than 50 years ago.

“We are Tasmania’s largest provider of crisis and transitional accommodation for people experiencing homelessness and this new facility allows us to provide greater assistance to men in Hobart seeking help,” she said.

“Vinnies lease the building from Homes Tasmania and projects like this cannot be undertaken without their investment and the assistance of the Tasmanian Government.”

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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