Living our Mission
Living our Mission
Neil Starkie, General Manager – Strategic Partnerships and Growth
In 2023, St Bart’s will celebrate its 60th anniversary. Over the six decades, St Bart’s mission has evolved and broadened from that of just being a small homeless shelter for men. Today, our mission sees us provide opportunities, pathways and care to vulnerable people who find themselves without a home.
St Bart’s supports approximately 1,000 people each year across our accommodation and outreach services. Our clients include single women, single men, families, the elderly and people living with a mental health challenge.
Our Bart’s Plus service assists families with children who are at risk of homelessness through the provision of supported accommodation and our Community Recovery Villages and Accommodation Units provide supported housing in the community for people living with a diagnosed mental health illness.
Our accommodation services are complemented by our outreach services, which support people to maintain long- term housing in the community through our innovative, person-centred service approach. In 2020/21 our Reconnecting Lives Program assisted more than 150 people, all of whom were able to remain in safe and secure accommodation thanks to our provision of wraparound support that helped mitigate risks that can potentially trigger a return to homelessness.
Lynette (pictured) is a resident in our Women’s Service and she kindly agreed to share her story as part of our Winter Appeal this year.
At a time in her life when she should have been going to school and returning to the safety and familiarity of a stable home, Lynette’s childhood was instead spent couch surfing with her family.
‘We never had a home and we were always staying with family,’ she said. ‘I have nine brothers and sisters and we hardly ever had our own rooms. On top of that, I went to four different schools.’
Lynette and her family also spent time at Nardine, a women’s refuge in Perth.
As we often see at St Bart’s, without a strong foundation to build upon in the early years it is not uncommon for a childhood like Lynette’s to lead to housing instability well into adulthood. Now a mother of four and grandmother of five, Lynette has spent the past nine months with St Bart’s after living on the streets of the CBD for a number of years. Since moving into our Women’s Service, Lynette says she’s appreciating the level of independence that comes with doing her own shopping and cooking – something she thoroughly enjoys.
‘Eventually, I’d like to have my own little place but, for now, I need that wraparound support. I’d like to move into St Bart’s Community Housing complex when I’m more confident to move into my own apartment and live more independently in the community,’ Lynette said.