3 August 2022

More than 116,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Australia. 

People like Shaun (not pictured), a proud Wathaurong man who was previously homeless, battling alcoholism and had fractured relationships with his family. 

The 54-year-old has an acquired brain injury and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  

He was hospitalised 122 times in one year before he moved into safe, supported housing with The Haven Foundation a year ago. 

Moving into The Haven Foundation’s Geelong residence has been a turning point for Shaun who has had just one hospital admission since moving into his new home. 

The Haven Foundation residences are integrated social housing with support, providing people who have significant mental health and wellbeing concerns with long-term housing and 24/7 support from onsite staff provided by Mind Australia, funded from residents’ NDIS plans.  

Mind Australia manages these residences in partnership with community housing agency The Haven Foundation - a subsidiary of Mind. 

Nearly 20% of residents experienced homelessness prior to moving in to a Haven residence in the past 12 months. 

Mind CEO Gill Callister said The Haven Foundation residences provide an important balance for residents with significant mental ill-health, offering a safe living environment while encouraging independence. 

“In many cases, residents are able to break a cycle of homelessness and mental ill-health which has led to hospitalisations in the past,” Ms Callister said. 

“The theme for Homelessness Week 2022 is: To end homelessness we need a plan. The Haven Foundation residences enable people with significant long-term mental health issues to lead successful and fulfilling lives in the community. 

“Mind, in partnership with The Haven Foundation, continues to dedicate resources to providing homes for people who with mental ill-health, including people who have experienced homelessness, at our Haven residences across Victoria. 

“The Haven Foundation model is proven to provide stability, independence and a greater sense of belonging, confidence and responsibility to our clients.” 

The Haven Foundation - integrated social housing and support services, managed by Mind, are located in South Yarra, Frankston, Geelong, Laverton, Mooroopna and Epping. 

More residences are being built in Seymour, Pakenham, Drouin, Ballarat and Bendigo as part of the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build initiative. 

Who are The Haven Foundation residences for? 

The Haven Foundation residences are designed for people whose capacity to live independently is impacted by long-term significant mental health and wellbeing concerns.  

Residents are typically NDIS participants with psychosocial disability who require 24/7 support and are seeking a residence with a strong focus on family and carer engagement and community connection.  

Mark Heeney, Mind Australia/The Haven Foundation Executive Director - Housing Strategy, said Haven residents typically have a wide range of previous experiences and pathways 

“Haven residents come to our services for a variety of reasons, including those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

“Residents make a contribution from their NDIS plan to fund the shared 24/7 onsite psychosocial support which Mind provides.” 

Psychosocial supports help people with mental health and wellbeing concerns to manage daily activities, rebuild and maintain connections, engage with education and employment, and participate fully in the community. These are supports that help people take positive steps in their recovery journey. 

Karena, Haven Geelong’s Service Manager, said Shaun had come “such a long way” since moving into the Haven Geelong. 

“He has made authentic friendships, and people truly care about him. When Shaun moved in, he had a lot of people in his life who were taking advantage of him and his situation,” she said.  

Read Shaun’s story here 

Find out if Haven Homes are right for you or your loved one: Contact us via Mind Connect or phone 1300 286 463.  

Get more information on The Haven Foundation and Haven residences on the Mind website 

Find out more about Mind’s other Housing with support services here


What is Homelessness Week? 

Homelessness Week aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on Australia via national and local community events, including providing information on the importance of housing as a solution and educating communities on how they can make a difference. 

Homelessness Week 2022 will be taking place from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 August. 

Mark Heeney, Mind Australia/The Haven Foundation Executive Director-Housing Strategy, will be speaking at the National Homelessness Conference, jointly convened by AHURI and Homelessness Australia. 

The conference will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra from Monday August 8 to Wednesday August 10.  

For more information on Mind and our services, please visit the Mind stall at the conference. 

If this article raises immediate concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.