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Social Outreach and Advocacy

SJG Outreach servicesOutreach services



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 service provisions.

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.

Casa Venegas

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 individual.
  • Providing each resident with their own room and respecting their right to privacy.
  • Providing recreational, vocational and social opportunities.
  • Having friendly support and assistance ready when required.
  • 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 residents.
  • A family atmosphere in Casa Venegas homes.
  • The peace and security that a safe and stable home life can provide.

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 please contact:
Tel: (02) 9715 9200
Email: info.burwood@sjog.org.au

Burwood