Homeless Health – St Vincent’s commitment to our community

It’s shocking to learn that on any given night, over 122,000 people in Australia are without a home.

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has long cared for the homeless community of inner-city Sydney, honouring the mission of our founding Sisters of Charity, who were dedicated to helping those in need. Vulnerable people may be unable to afford treatment, ineligible for assistance through Medicare, or too afraid to engage with mainstream health services. The Healing, Hope and Humanity Fund supports St Vincent’s Homeless Health Service to ensure that everyone at St Vincent’s Hospital is treated with the same care and compassion, regardless of their wealth, nationality or religion.

The Hospital has developed specialised homeless health services for the complex health needs of vulnerable people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, with other potential chronic and acute health conditions.

A cornerstone program is the Community Outreach Medical Emergency Team (COMET), who visit people sleeping rough or in temporary/crisis accommodation to do health assessments, treatment, referrals and care coordination.

COMET was vital to St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Homeless Health Service COVID response during the pandemic, with the outreach team providing vaccination and PCR testing to people experiencing homelessness.

The team comprises a medical registrar and registered nurse, who travel in vehicles donated by our kind supporters, Sandersons Mercedes Rushcutters Bay. The compact size of these cars allows the team to access and park in locations inaccessible to normal vehicles. These trained clinicians give support to vulnerable people, building their trust and connection to health care and homelessness supports.

St Vincent’s Homeless Health Service has a range of other services to connect patients with care, treatment and support to get back on their feet. These include Tierney House, where patients have short-term accommodation in a safe and stable environment while they access treatment and referrals to health, accommodation and support services.

Our teams of social work, mental health, homeless health and addiction workers are supported by St Vincent’s Curran Foundation.

You can help us maintain this vital service, by calling us on 1800 800 595, or donating here: