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Vinnies NT says Ozanam House Stuart Park is ‘at the end of its functional life’ (Facebook/Vinnies NT)

In the Northern Territory where homelessness rates are 12 times the national average, the St Vincent de Paul’s Ozanam House Stuart Park service is about to become homeless too. Source: NITV.

This week the service is busy preparing for its annual CEO Sleepout – where some of the most powerful people in the Territory will sleep rough to raise money for the cause.

Demand has well outstripped capacity in a housing and homelessness crisis that has Commonwealth attention. The most recent budget increased homelessness funding from $5.9 million in 2023-24 to $42.8 million in 2024-25.

St Vincent de Paul Northern Territory president Jocelyn Cull says a growing cohort of homeless are middle-aged or elderly in Darwin.

“One of the things that shocked me when I first came to Darwin was the amount of people, particularly with complex needs, who were sleeping on the street,” Ms Cull says.

But growing services to meet demand is proving challenging, with Vinnies’ plans to grow services hitting serious hurdles.

“The [Ozanam House] building is at the end of its functional life, so we need to get out and find a new location,” Ms Cull said.

Working with Aboriginal stakeholders, Vinnies has mapped a new facility that includes short-term accommodation, set up in “glamping” style pods, with health, rehabilitation and legal services embedded at the site.

St Vincent de Paul Northern Territory chief executive Rob Lutter says the organisation has had “over a hundred meetings” in the past three years to “try and get this across the board”.

But the service is still struggling to access a block to build on.

As a temporary measure, Vinnies is setting up services in the business district of Coconut Grove in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

That has drawn concern from neighbours and the ire of local Labor members Natasha Fyles and Brent Potter, who have spoken against the development on behalf of their constituents.

A spokesperson for the Chief Minister says the Government will continue work with Vinnies to find a new home for services.


Jane is 72 and homeless. Now the service she relies on is facing homelessness too (By Laetitia Lemke, NITV)


Vinnies in Darwin faces homelessness (SBS News)