Comfort upped in homeless shelter

Alec Uzunovsky (Uniting Care West) is in the process of turning the old building into something more user-friendly. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d420002
Alec Uzunovsky (Uniting Care West) is in the process of turning the old building into something more user-friendly. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d420002

Dating back to 1895, UnitingCare West have used the property for the last seven years to house and help the homeless, but the age of the building necessitated a revamp.

UnitingCare West chief executive Sue Ash said renovations were expected to take between 12 and 18 months, with the new designs linking back to the history of the building.

Homeless Accommodation Support Service team leader Alec Uzunovsky said current tenants had been moved to transitional accommodation in Hilton and Spearwood, with services that were provided at Wilf Sargent House to be relocated to their Cantonment Street property during renovations.

‘Renovations were necessary as the building was in need of major repairs and upkeep due to its age,’ he said.

‘The building was not designed for use as a homeless accommodation facility and as a result, was not user friendly for either residents or staff.

‘The renovation of the current site will ensure that each resident will have their own bedroom and ensuite bathroom and toilet and that all other areas within the property for use by residents is designed with service delivery as a priority, such as a commercial kitchen and large living area.

‘It is a user friendly facility which is aimed at providing a sense of community and belonging and at the same time allow residents to feel safe and secure because for most residents, this may be the first time that they are able to experience this.’