Social Outreach and Advocacy
Reaching out to people experiencing disadvantage to improve
health & wellbeing.
While St John of God
Health Care is primarily known for its hospitals and pathology
services, we also have a long heritage in working with and helping
people within the community. We are committed to providing
significant care and relief for people experiencing disadvantage
throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region,
particularly in areas where we have identified gaps in current
Apart from a group-wide Social Outreach and Advocacy program,
St John of God Burwood Hospital
operates Casa Venegas, an outreach
service for homeless people with mental health problems.
People suffering from mental
health disorders make up one of the most severely disadvantaged
groups in modern society. St John of God
Casa Venegas provides home style accommodation on a medium to
long term basis for homeless people with mental health
problems. Over 30% of homeless people suffer from some form of
mental illness or substance abuse. According to the Australian
Bureau of Statistics, there are over 100,000 people in Australia
homeless on any given night with up to 20% under the age of 20.
Casa Venegas has homes in
the west and the inner city of Sydney, offering residents
independence, improved quality of life and dignity by:
- Treating each person as a unique
- Providing each resident with their own room
and respecting their right to privacy.
- Providing recreational, vocational and social
- Having friendly support and assistance ready
- Providing professional support and advocacy
regarding residents' entitlements.
- Instilling a sense of hope through structured
support services and the provision of role models.
- Offering residents the means to ultimately
transition to independent living.
We currently have residents living in
community support houses and one bedroom units. Some of these
residents receive full board and lodgings in high support houses.
All residents have access to 24-hour on call assistance; assistance
with activities of daily living, meal preparation, laundry,
personal care and household budgeting; assistance with
co-ordinating ongoing clinical management with case managers and
GPs in the community.
Regular supportive visits from Casa Venegas
staff and volunteers encourage:
- Trust and communication between
- A family atmosphere in Casa Venegas
- The peace and security that a safe and stable
home life can provide.
Accommodation and Support Service
Casa Venegas was so named because John of God,
who ministered to the sick in Granada, Spain, in the 16th century,
would shelter at night inside the vestibule of Don Miguel, a
respected and wealthy citizen of Granada. Don Miguel's home was
called Casa Venegas. John of God was moving in a circle of poverty
in which he met men and women who had nowhere to sleep. He felt he
could not accept Don Miguel's hospitality and leave the poor, sick
and weak spending their nights crouched in doorways and being
hunted off by night watchmen, so he invited some of these people to
share his good fortune and shelter with him within the entrance of
Casa Venegas. It was from his Casa Venegas experience that
John went on to found his hospitals.
Contact Casa Venegas
P.O. Box 112
Enfield NSW 2136
Tel: (02) 9715 9231
Fax: (02) 9715 9319
For more information about St John of God Burwood Hospital outreach services
Tel: (02) 9715 9200