Adelaide's Hutt Street Centre for the homeless is considering relocating after 64 years of operation, as community pressure over nearby anti-social behaviour escalates. Source: InDaily.
InDaily reports that the board of the homelessness day centre is considering moving its services to a new facility, prompted by “discontent” among business operators in the Hutt Street precinct.
The board of Hutt Street Centre has been considering rebuilding at the current location to meet increasing demand for its services – an option that remains on the table – but it is also contemplating relocation as a result of the outcry.
Hutt Street Centre board chair Phillip Donato told InDaily: “We may stay, or we may (leave) but ultimately it will depend on what’s best for the client group and the community”.
“Our preferred option beforehand was to do a rebuild, but now we have heard all the discontent (so relocating is) on the table.”
The Adelaide City Council – spurred by councillors Alex Antic and Anne Moran, who say they have received a series of complaints about violence in Hutt Street over recent months – has committed to installing five new CCTV cameras on the street, commissioning security guard patrols and establishing a precinct working group.
The Hutt Street Centre offers showers, laundry facilities, healthcare, recreation activities, education and training, legal aid and housing services, among other services, for people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide.
Mr Donato said the Hutt Street Centre was located in an “ageing facility” catering to growing demand for its services and changing demographics.
He stressed that “we find any form of anti-social behaviour unacceptable” and the safety of staff, volunteers, clients and members of the community were the centre’s priority.
Mr Donato said while footage had emerged of an altercation in front of the centre, “some of the more serious things that have happened have not involved our clients at all”.
Mr Donato said the centre would research world’s best practice approaches to delivering homelessness services and decide in due course whether to relocate or rebuild – and consider any other options.
He said the centre, associated with the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, would be discussing its options with the State Government, the Adelaide City Council and the Church.
“We just want what’s best for the poor,” he said.