Early closure puts pressure on

The homeless are looking to hostels for accommodation. Picture: file image
The homeless are looking to hostels for accommodation. Picture: file image

Mr Ott said while he could not attribute an increase in patrons at his hostel to the closure of Jewell House, he was fielding more inquiries about accommodation.

‘That could be due to a number of factors, though,’ he said.

Mr Ott said he had noticed a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the Perth CBD over the past year.

‘There are so many people in need,’ he said.

‘We have some people sleeping on the street outside who save up enough to stay here for one night and then go back to sleeping on the street.

‘Unfortunately, we are not in the position to offer those people beds; we are not a not-for-profit organisation.’

YMCA Perth’s lease on Jewell House finished on September 7, ending the not-for-profit organisation’s 30 years of management of the facility.

The Department of Health plans to redevelop the site, a goal the Department made YMCA Perth aware of more than 12 months ago.

YMCA Perth chief executive Ross Kyrwood said the organisation decided to end its lease because it had become ‘untenable’ to continue the service with the impending closure and lack of financially viable alternatives.

Salvation Army Doorways community program co-ordinator Kris Halliday said the closure of Jewell House meant the organisation had lost a vital backstop.

‘We’ve lost 100 beds,’ Lieutenant Halliday said.

‘We now need something to replace those beds and we need diverse accommodation.’

The facility at Goderich Street will still be used as a short-term accommodation facility for Patients Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS) clients.