UnitingSA will repurpose a former Aged Care facility to help ease pressure on SA hospital beds by becoming temporary supported accommodation for some of the State’s stranded NDIS participants.

In future weeks, the site will also become home to refugees escaping war-torn countries like Afghanistan and the Ukraine as part of a partnership with AMES Australia – an organisation that helps support refugees as they transition into new lives in SA.

UnitingSA will provide 24 beds as part of the first stage to help support approximately 230 discharge-ready NDIS participants currently stranded in SA hospital beds.

More than half are ready for discharge and no longer need acute hospital care or clinical input, and some have been in beds for more than 100 days as they await NDIS approvals, services or suitable accommodation.

As one of SA’s oldest charitable organisations, Chief Executive Jenny Hall said UnitingSA was committed to offering practical solutions to support the community’s most vulnerable people.

“Repurposing this former aged care home will help bridge the gap for NDIS participants who need support while permanent housing is secured,” Ms Hall said.

“It’s an ideal solution to help free up these vital hospital beds as the State continues to respond to the current wave of Covid-19 and influenza cases. In future, it will also provide vital accommodation to refugees trying to make a new start in Australia.”

Ms Hall said the Regency Green site closed in May with a future plan to develop an affordable housing precinct.

“But this will take time, and we are pleased to be able to offer this support in the interim,” Ms Hall said.

“We recognised that repurposing Regency Green for these interim measures was a priority.”

Adelaide-based specialist disability service provider Community Living Options will provide 24-hour support and care at the site as part of the first stage.

UnitingSA is also exploring partnerships with other organisations and government bodies to offer more critical accommodation solutions, including emergency accommodation for the homeless as the state continues to face a housing crisis.

“Helping people is at the heart of everything we do. At the moment, this accommodation is an absolute necessity, and government and organisations like our need to work together to provide immediate solutions.”

Background
UnitingSA is one of the oldest charitable organisations in SA. It started supporting society’s most vulnerable people in 1919 as the Port Adelaide Central Methodist Mission, ironically in response to the last global pandemic – the Spanish Flu – in the aftermath of the First World War.

In 2003 it became UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide – and in 2017 transformed again to become UnitingSA.

The UnitingSA head office is still based in Dale Street, Port Adelaide – where the organisation started from humble beginnings.

Today, UnitingSA delivers services to individuals and families from more than 30 locations across regional and metropolitan SA. It now employees around 1,000 South Australians and touches the lives of more than 12,000 people every year through the delivery of programs across aged care, housing, community welfare, disability, mental health and employment.

The UnitingSA portfolio now includes five residential aged care facilities and almost 600 affordable, social and independent living homes and units, with a pipeline of housing developments underway to produce more than 100 dwellings.

For further information:
Gail Heritage, UnitingSA
P. 0466 419 528
E. gheritage@unitingsa.com.au