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Shower access helps homeless

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness now have access to a shower facility at Healesville Hospital and Yarra Valley Health, thanks to a collaboration between six local organisations.

Eastern Health has joined with Eastern Community Legal Centre, Healesville Interchurch Community Care Inc (HICCI), Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association (HICSA), Anchor and Salvation Army Eastcare to establish the service, which was introduced as part of the hospital’s recent redevelopment.

“Within Healesville, there is a small, but significant population who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or sleeping within cars. The opportunity for these people and families to access shower facilities not only promotes dignity and respect, but also plays an important role in maintaining basic human rights within the community,” Michelle Fleming, Community Health Manager at Eastern Health said.

A community shower within the township of Healesville was previously available within the Salvation Army premises on Maroondah Hwy, until the building was transitioned to an office space.

“Several options were explored across the township to facilitate an open access shower. At the time of discussions Eastern Health offered to accommodate a community access shower within the redeveloped hospital as an initial step towards establishing this initiative within the community,” Ms Fleming said.

The shower is available between 8am to 5:30pm on weekdays and includes complimentary use of towels, soap and personal hygiene packs.

The shower is now available and located at 377 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville. To access the shower, please call 1300 130 381 or visit the hospital’s main reception.