St Bart's - Our History
The original St Bartholomew’s House was a small homeless shelter for men established in 1963 following a collaboration between a local doctor and the Anglican Archbishop of Perth. The shelter, initially mattresses on the floor of the Church Hall behind the Rectory of St Bartholomew’s Church in Kensington Street, East Perth, was the work of Archbishop George Appleton and Dr James Watson. Having been Archdeacon of London, the Archbishop suggested naming the shelter after St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, which was founded by monk Rahere to originally care for the needy and homeless. And so, St Bartholomew’s House began, providing shelter and giving support to men in crisis in the Perth area.
There have been many changes along the journey to St Bart’s becoming the progressive, inclusive and large organisation it is today which provides support to more than 530 people through a range of services.
St Bart's - 1963
St Bart's - Our Present
The biggest expansion of St Bart’s took place in 1994, with the construction of a 16-bed frail-aged hostel for men who were financially, socially and/or physically disadvantaged, following years of lobbying to get a special funding category for aged care beds for older people with complex needs. This hostel, now known as the James Watson Aged Care Centre, is home to 20 older men.
In 1995, discussions between St Bartholomew’s House, Bentley Health Services and the then Homeswest resulted in St Bart’s becoming a provider of accommodation for people with mental health issues referred by the mental health service. The first of these units was in Cannington and within a few years more units were opened up in the Swan/Midland area and Rockingham/Kwinana area.
St Bart's - 2020
Department of Housing – Independent Living Program
In 1994, St Bart’s became a provider of long-term community housing for people with psychiatric disabilities who found it difficult accessing mainstream accommodation. This is the Independent Living Program which operates in the eastern health region – the suburbs of Bentley, Victoria Park, Belmont, Queens Park, Como and South Perth.
As a result of an organisational and structural review of Anglicare WA in 2003, Anglicare transferred 20 Community Aged Care Packages and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) Program to St Bart’s. ACHA is designed to assist frail, low income older people who are renting, live in insecure housing or who are homeless, to remain in the community through accessing appropriate housing linked community aged care.
Today, St Bart’s is still proudly operating the Home Care and Assistance with Care and Housing programs.