VincentCare strives to always be a safe and welcoming place for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, trans and gender diverse, queer, and/or intersex.
VincentCare is dedicated to ensuring we provide caring and tailored services that are inclusive and affirming of LGBTQIA+ people. We embrace and celebrate diversity. We also provide some programs which are specific for LGBTIQA+ people, including Pride in Place, a housing and homelessness support service run in partnership with Drummond Street Queerspace, Uniting Vic.Tas and Family Access Network (FAN) . Whichever parts of our organisation you access, you will receive safe and quality care that is respectful of your sex characteristics, gender identity and/or sexuality. VincentCare is committed to working with you to best understand your unique needs and strengths in regard to these parts of your identity, and everything else that makes you who you are.
About our services
VincentCare is a specialist accommodation, housing and homelessness support service for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. For almost a decade we have worked to achieve and maintain our Rainbow Tick accreditation to enable continuous improvement of the experience of our support services for LGBTQIA+ communities.
Our community drop-in services for homeless or temporarily un-housed individuals, Ozanam House and the Homelessness Resource Centre, include:
- A specific LGBTQIA+ safe space, Anna’s Room, which is separated from other clients/areas
- Showers and laundry
- Housing support
- General healthcare
- Mental health services
- Drug and alcohol counselling
- Support for financial hardship
- Education and training opportunities
We can also support you further with:
- Finding crisis accommodation
- Working towards sustainable housing
- Referral to LGBTQIA+ specific, or other generalist services known to be LGBTQIA+-friendly
- Information about additional supports or peer groups which might interest or help you
- Challenges in your general health, mental health, alcohol or other drug issues, or intimate partner and family violence.
- Access to our gender inclusive family violence refuges if needed
Celebrating diversity and responding to unique needs
LGBTQIA+ people are often over-represented in the homeless population and unsure if services will provide them with a safe experience. We understand that our LGBTQIA+ clients may be facing these and other additional challenges. You are not alone in your struggle. We’re here to help you.
VincentCare provides services that are respectful, inclusive and tailored to individual needs. Our staff are well-informed and sensitive to the lived experience of LGBTQIA+ people, and they understand the complexities and challenges LGBTQIA+ people face when accessing services.
Some common struggles for LGBTQIA+ people
If you are experiencing any of these, we can help provide you with and/or find you the right mix of LGBTQIA+ safe supports and services for you:
- Concerns about how you will be treated by service providers
- Not knowing how to, or afraid to broach the subject of your intersex status, gender and/or sexuality with service providers
- Trauma from previous life experiences of stigma, discrimination or rejection by family, peers or others
- Current experiences of violence and abuse, including those in public, schools, workplaces, or involving intimate partner or family violence
- Anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
- Issues with your alcohol or drug use
- Thoughts of self-harm or feelings of suicide
What you can expect from our staff:
- Recognition of the challenges you may be facing as a person who is LGBTQIA+
- Optional open discussions about gender identity and/or sexual orientation, including affirmation of your pronouns and other related language in any and all places you indicate
- Personalised care to address your accommodation needs and wrap-around supports
- Respectful support that maintains your dignity and personal autonomy
- Understanding that each individual and situation is unique
- Connection or referral to other services that are LGBTQIA+ friendly
- Respect and empowerment for you to be in charge of your privacy around others knowing you are LGBTQIA+
- Caring and timely responses within accountable processes if you make a complaint, including about LGBTQIA+ discrimination
VincentCare is committed to demonstrating the principles of self-determination, reconciliation, intersectional inclusion, equity, and social justice. This means that we will resolutely:
- Seek to understand the ways that what people think as a society about people’s identities can negatively impact their life and ability to access appropriate services.
- Take specific steps to ensure that all staff, volunteers and clients feel valued, and are treated with dignity and respect.
- Celebrate people’s diverse physical and cognitive abilities, mental or cognitive health status, cultural background and ethnicity, gender identity, sex characteristic, sexual orientation, age, faith or non-faith.
- Critically review our work to identify disadvantages and we actively seek to place the voices and expertise of marginalised people at the centre of our actions when improving our inclusion strategies.
- Lead by example in how we challenge disadvantage and contribute to a more equitable world which is free from discrimination and marginalisation.
Other useful LGBTQIA+ Resources
Rainbow Door is a free specialist LGBTIQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, BrotherBoys, SisterGirls) helpline providing information, support, and referral to all LGBTIQA+ Victorians, their friends and family.
The Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-built centre for Australia’s LGBTIQ+ communities. It is a place to pave new directions for LGBTIQ+ communities, while honouring and celebrating their brave – and at times difficult – past. It is home to practical and supportive services and will grow into a destination for visitors from across Australia, and beyond. The Centre serves as a hub for LGBTIQ+ groups and organisations to share ideas and resources and to further their work in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion across the state.