One year working with Brisbane’s homeless

Monday, 20 October 2008

20 October 2008 marked Mater nurse Ros Butler’s first year in the challenging role of community clinical nurse at the Brisbane Homelessness Service Centre. In this time Ros has cared for more than 200 individual patients, whose medical conditions varied from scrapes and bruises to drug-related illnesses and cancer.

The Brisbane Homelessness Service Centre is an initiative of Micah, a non-government organisation that provides services to marginalised people. The centre focuses on providing early intervention, finding emergency crisis accommodation and providing preventative health measures and referrals for more acute conditions.

Everyday is different for Ros, who says she feels privileged to work in an environment where “respect” is paramount.

There’s no knowing what you might end up doing in a day. It’s a wonderful environment to work in. It’s very respectful and cooperative. Everyone who walks through the door gets a second chance, and a third and a fourth.

Ros regularly refers her clients to Mater Adult Hospital and mothers who require antenatal care to Mater Mothers’ Hospital.

After her initial contact, Ros said she makes sure she follows up on clients to ensure they continue with necessary medical treatment and that they receive any practical support they require, often in coordination with a doctor.

It is essential to create a relationship based on trust with each client and ensure a continuity of care.

The Centre’s street-to-home program is an initiative particularly close to Ros’s heart.

We have managed to house ten people who have been homeless for over ten years. We have secured specific funding to house the people on Riverside Drive (a park under the South Brisbane rail bridge) from Brisbane City Council.

Filed under: Adult, Mission, Mothers', Video
    One year milestone 1

To ensure we continue our commitment to meet the health care needs of the community, Mater has developed business strategies which address the issues of financial, social and environmental sustainability.

This website has been developed in accord with these strategies, and is the accompaniment to a summary document printed on recycled paper.