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          news from Bethlehem
                                SEPTEMBER 2008                                       Bethlehem House Homeless Men’s Assistance Centre

                                                                                     at Anglicare. They also have access
                                                                                     to brokerage services through Colony
                                                                                     47 and Salvation Army Supported
                                                                                     Housing (SASH).
                                                                                       The House also provides services for
                                                                                     non-residents, including crisis response,
                                                                                     referrals, advocacy and meals and
                                                                                     laundry facilities.
                                                                                       Without Bethlehem House most of
                                                                                     these men would remain homeless
                                                                                     and would not receive the support
                                                                                     and specialised services they need to
                                                                                     have a chance of living independent
                                                                                     lives. Some would also be at risk of
                                                                                     offending or re-offending. Bethlehem
                                                                                     House thus provides much more than
                                                                                     housing – it is a social service without
                                                                                     which these men, and Hobart’s
                                                                                     community, would be worse off.
                                                                                     … and how you can help!
What Bethlehem                            this service to those who secure
                                          public housing or private rental on an     Bethlehem House receives funding from
House does...                             identified need basis.                     the St Vincent de Paul Society, the State
                                                                                     and Commonwealth Governments and
  Bethlehem House is Hobart’s               Bethlehem House also works with          donations. Other funds are obtained
only shelter for men experiencing         other service providers to ensure that     from time to time, for example specific
homelessness. And it is more than an      the men, many of whom have complex         purpose grants and bequeathments.
accommodation provider. For the men       needs, are given the right support.
                                                                                     Bethlehem House could not continue to
who reside at Bethlehem House, it         Drug and alcohol, mental health
                                                                                     function without these funds but it faces
offers them a better quality of life by   and generic counsellors, as well as
                                                                                     a financial shortfall which, despite
providing opportunities for training,     Centrelink, have regular appointments      current funding, threatens the services
recreation and learning life skills.      at Bethlehem House. Bethlehem House        it provides.
                                          also receives support from Disability
  In addition, Bethlehem House            Services, Colony 47, the Salvation         In the following pages you can read
provides an outreach service to           Army and Anglicare. Financial skills       about how you can help Bethlehem
those men with identified needs in        are another important aspect of what       House to continue its important work in
community tenancies with a view to        Bethlehem House offers. For help with      the Hobart community – work that no
assisting them, where required, to        managing personal finances residents       other single service provider offers.
maintain independent living. It extends   are referred to financial counsellors

  Bethlehem House is a shelter for          7 community houses it rents from        adjacent to Bethlehem House
  men aged 20 years and over who          Housing Tasmania for men who are          Between1 July 2007 and 30 June
  are experiencing homelessness. It       able to live independently;               2008 Bethlehem House:
  provides:                                 2 units for single fathers who have       provided 12,990 bed nights;
     30 beds in house, consisting of 12   access to or custody of their children.     served 31,142 meals; and
  short-term crisis beds, 16 medium- to   These are regarded as transitional
  long-term board house beds and          housing for men before they move             provided an average of 450
  2 overnight emergency beds. The         back into the regular housing             supports each month to non-residents;
  long-term beds are for men for whom     community; and                            and
  semi-supported accommodation is the       a 4 bedroom share house,                  turned away 461 men who
  best option;                                                                      needed accommodation.
                                                         Over $200,000 is needed         of finding employment. However the
                                                        to repair stonework, rotting     House is not funded specifically for
                                                       timber windows and rusting        these activities; anything it offers in this
                                                       of embedded hoop iron             area comes from its already stretched
                                                      reinforcements in the original     resources.
                                                     sections of the building.           Real opportunities exist for some of
                                                    Without this essential work          these men to learn trades and skills
                                                    Bethlehem House risks closing        that will aid their chances of secur-
                                                   entirely, leaving many of the men     ing a job and thus of living more
                                                  it services without shelter and        independently. For example recently
                                                 support.                                men received welding training with
                                                If you can help with a cash              the aim of entering an apprenticeship.
                                               donation please contact Bethlehem         And INCAT, Tasmania’s local high
                                               House!                                    speed ship builder, has offered to take
                                                                                         trainees after they complete a 12 week
                                              Skill development                          TAFE course. Six residents also recently
Building refurbishment                        Bethlehem House encourages men             completed a TAFE course to become
The building in which Bethlehem             to reach their full potential and to         cleaners, and are looking at further
House operates was built over 100           enhance their self-esteem. An impor-         training. However Bethlehem House
years ago and is on the Tasmanian           tant dimension of the House’s work is        does not have the funds to pay for the
Heritage Register. Unfortunately the        therefore to provide its residents, the      courses.
building needs repairs and upgrading        majority of whom are unemployed and          If you can fund training courses or pro-
if it is to continue to serve as an         unskilled, with learning and training        vide training Bethlehem House would
accommodation site.                         opportunities to improve their chances       love to hear from you.

Ex-prisoner programs
PROP                                        Parolee Accommodation Program
One of the exciting developments since      Some inmates in the Tasmanian                their sentence specified non-parole
the last newsletter in November 2007        prison system, having met the criteria       period.
is the commencement of Bethlehem            for a successful parole hearing,             This would be achieved by leasing four
House’s Post-Release Options Project        are not granted parole due to the            bed sit-style or single room units and
(PROP). PROP is a transitional program      mere fact that there are no suitable         providing case management support
providing sustainable and ongoing           accommodation options. Under such            to each resident during their stay,
support to men pre- and post-release        circumstances, the only option left          with the aim of facilitating community
from prison, to increase their likelihood   to the Parole Board is to deny their         reintegration and sustainable long-term
of successfully rejoining the community     application and return them to a prison      accommodation.
without re-offending. This support will     cell. This is unsatisfactory from a legal,
                                                                                         These crime-prevention initiatives are
commence up to 3 months prior to            moral and social perspective.
                                                                                         multi-faceted and to work well, require
release and continue up to 12 months        An initiative of Bethlehem House             a range of services in addition to
following release. It is funded under       has been recognised by the State             funds. If you are able to help with
the Australian Government’s National        Government with their recent                 any of the following please contact
Community Crime Prevention Program.         announcement of $200,000 which               Bethlehem House:
Under the program a range of                will fund a Bethlehem House Program
                                                                                         * Facilities for meetings (to avoid
clients’ issues are addressed,              to support parolees to complete their
                                                                                         the stigma attached to meeting at
including addictions to drugs and           sentences under supervision in the
                                                                                         a Corrections facility or Bethlehem
alcohol, assistance to find suitable        community. The program will provide
accommodation and employment,               for 3 months supported transitional
assistance with relationship                accommodation, initially over a 2 year       * Employers willing to give ex-prisoners
breakdowns and independent living           period, for 32 parolees who might            a go on a trial basis
skills more broadly.                        otherwise be held in prison beyond           * Photocopying facilities

                                            Vision: To be the leading service            Our Guiding Principles: Recognising
                                            provider in Tasmania for homeless            the worth of the individual regardless
                                            men (including sole parents and their        of his circumstances, status, religion,
                                            children) and to be recognised and           politics or behaviour; fostering
Bethlehem house:                            valued as a centre for the wellbeing of      growth of human dignity and
our Vision,                                 all men.                                     respect; encouraging self-help as a
                                                                                         means to growth in self confidence
                                            Mission: To ensure the provision of
mission                                     high quality integrated services to meet
                                                                                         and responsibility; and promoting
                                                                                         opportunities for a more satisfying life
                                            the needs of men in a client driven and
and GuidinG PrinciPles                      friendly environment.
                                                                                         for men.
                                         Physical activity and recreation opportunities

                                                      As part of its holistic      residents out of the House every
                                                      approach to helping          Tuesday to participate in outdoor
                                                     its residents, Bethlehem      activities including walking, fishing,
                                                     House provides                kayaking.
                                                     opportunities for physical    Bethlehem House would like to
                                                    activity and recreation.       expand its program, particularly
                                                    For example, the Living        for physical activity for the men.
                                                    Skills and Recreation          The PCYC has offered a gym
                                                    Officer, Tracey, takes         membership for the residents.
                                                                                   Again, though, funds would be
                                                                                   needed as well as someone to co-
                                                                                                      ordinate the men’s
                                                                                                     Please contact
                                                                                                     Bethlehem House
                                                                                                    if you can provide
                                                                                                    funds for such
                                                                                                    programs OR if you
                                                                                                   can offer physical
                                                                                                   activity or recreational

The Changing Needs and Future Challenges for Bethlehem House
A Message from the Manager               achievable outcomes for our clients.      Work involved will include treatment
There are two keys issues I              We have developed strong working          to our stonework and replacement of
wish to highlight in this article;       relationships with specialist service     a number of window sills and sashes.
namely client profile and the            systems including Mental Health           We are also mindful that our roof will
condition of our building.               and Drug and Alcohol Services             require replacing in the near future.
Client Profile                           and I acknowledge that there              The cost of this work will be in the
                                         have been and will be occasions           vicinity of $200,000 and it is our
Bethlehem House is experiencing
                                         where they may not be able to             intention to conduct a fundraising
a real change in the client profile
                                         provide timely responses.                 appeal to assist us to carry out these
of men coming to our service for
                                         I believe that the trend of younger       required repairs and upgrades.
accommodation and support.
This change has really come to           to middle age men moving into             Conclusion
the fore in the past 12-18 months.       Bethlehem House will continue and         Homeless and marginalised men
We are seeing a lessening of             the timing is now right for our service   need a viable Bethlehem House.
older men presenting for long            to commence dialogue with the             Even allowing for the many men
term boarding house beds and             Government about our willingness          we assist during the course of each
an increase in younger to middle         to increase the number of short           year we are still forced to turn
age men either self presenting or        term crisis (SAAP) beds. Naturally        away in excess of 40 men each
being referred to our service.           any increase in the number of short       month due to a lack of beds.
                                         term crisis beds we provide must be
This change is presenting a number                                                 We have been providing
                                         matched by an increase in funding.
of challenges to our service in                                                    accommodation and support
that the majority of men we are          Condition of Building                     to socially disadvantaged
now assisting have complex               Earlier this year I engaged a             men for 36 years and all staff,
issues including mental health,          Heritage Engineer to carry out a          management and board members
substance abuse and gambling             structural survey of our building.        are extremely committed to better
and relationship breakdowns.             His comprehensive report has              outcomes for our target group.
Sadly, some men have multiple            indicated that whilst our building        To continue to achieve positive
issues. We have responded to the         at 56 Warwick Street is structurally      change we need the assistance
added pressure by increasing our         sound there are some major                from Government and the
commitment to case management.           works to be carried out.                  community as a whole.
Case Workers have certainly noticed      Being a heritage listed property
an increase in their workloads and       any maintenance and upgrading
find that they are required to explore                                             Gary Bennett
                                         work we do must comply with the
a variety of options when looking        guidelines for heritage buildings.        Manager, Bethlehem House
                                                                                      Relief Senior Admin Officer and
                                                                                      Relief Admin Officer: Denise
                                                                                      Admin Officer: Lorraine
                                                                                      Case Workers: Ann, Gail and
                                                                                      Prop Case Managers: Pat and Lucy
                                                                                      Support Workers: Andrea, John,
                                                                                      Kylie, Ross and Roy
                                                                                      Relief Support Workers: Demelza
                                                                                      and Natalie
                                                                                      Cleaners: Jane and Eddie
                                                                                      Cook: Alistair
                                                                                      Relief Cook/Cleaner: Ron
                                                                                      Living Skills and Recreational
                                                                                      Worker: Tracey

                                                                                      Thank you to volunteers
                                                                                      Bethlehem House could not provide
                                                                                      its range of services without the help
                                                                                      of a team of volunteers. They carry
                                                                                      out a variety of tasks, including
                                                                                      staffing the front counter, helping
                                                                                      in the kitchen and collecting bulk
                                                                                      supplies such as bread, milk and
                                                                                      other goods generously donated by
                                                                                      retailers in Hobart.
   Who makes Bethlehem                      It is staffed by workers with a variety
                                            of skills and qualifications, including   Regular Volunteers are: Kevin,
   House work?                              social welfare diplomas, under the        Charles, Brian, Ian, Roy, Fr. Brian
   The House is managed by a Board          direction of a House Manager.             Nicholls, Bill and Rosemary.
   of Management responsible to the         Current staff are:                        Interested in volunteering? Please
   Hobart Regional Council of the           Manager: Gary                             call the Manager on 6234 4594 to
   Society of St Vincent de Paul.           Senior Admin Officer: Lesley              arrange a suitable time to meet.

                                            Thank you to sponsors
Bethlehem House would like to thank the following individuals and organisations who kindly made donations during the past
year. Some donations were left anonymously.
Lipscombe Larder, Tony and Petulia Banjos, Jackman and McRoss Bakery, Cripps Bakery, Father Quinn, Creative Chickens,
Woolstore, Father Graham, Father Gerald, Oakley Industries, Mt Carmel, Darryl Pyrke, Mrs Rosemary McHugh, Tarremah
School, Ms Jill Tilbery, Salvation Army Store, Lindisfarne Day Centre, National Pies, Catholic Womens League, Guilford Young
College, Barratt & Maher Solicitors, Justice Department, 4Lunch, Salter’s Hire, Louis Van, St James Parish, University, Sals
Restaurant, St Joseph’s Church, Sacred Heart College, Elizabeth Colloege, Centrelink Call Centre, McKillop College, Bunnings,
Don Camillo, Shirley Hall, Peter Stone, Ian & Jill Taylor, Lions Club of Hobart, New Norfolk Antiques, Ironback Catering, Rotary
Club of Moonah, D Pyrke, Mrs P McKay, A Coleman, Rudy Sypkes, Hobart Function Centre, Fransiscans, Seaman’s Union, Paul
Wagner, Mathew Coffee, Carl Hansen, Department of Economic Development, Wayne Jenkins, Mr and Mrs White, Bill Bevan,
Mr Crane, Fresh Freight Tasmania, Lindisfarne Rowing Club, Freedom House Church, Tafe Cafeteria, Gone AWOL Restaurant,
TasCOSS, Mrs McEwan, J de Vries.
Each year we receive a variety of donations at various times during the day so please accept our apologies if we have left your
name off the list. We can assure you we value the support we receive from the community.

                                                How you can help
By donating to Bethlehem House Homeless Men’s Assistance Centre Inc. you can help us to assist those men who may be
experiencing an episode of homelessness, or for whom it is not possible to live in a loving and caring family environment. Your
continued support in whatever form enables us to continue our work with these vulnerable and disadvantaged men.

                                                        Bethlehem House
                                              56 Warwick Street, Hobart TAS 7000
                         PHONE: (03) 6234 4594 FAX: (03) 6234 7515 E-MAIL:

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