May 18, 2023

West Leederville’s Villa Pelletier sets a new standard by providing housing for homeless elderly

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Villa Pelletier in West Leederville becomes the first aged care home in WA to offer rooms to homeless individuals aged 65 and over.

In a groundbreaking move, Southern Cross Care’s Villa Pelletier, a residential aged care centre in West Leederville, has become the first facility in Western Australia to reserve rooms specifically for homeless elderly individuals. 

Recognising the dire situation faced by socially disadvantaged people aged over 65, Villa Pelletier has allocated 12 out of its 40 beds to cater to this vulnerable group with health needs. This initiative, which began last year, saw all the reserved beds occupied within just two months.

One of the residents whose life has been transformed by this opportunity is 73-year-old Donald Lukaras, who spent ten months living on the streets of Armadale before finding refuge in Villa Pelletier. Lukaras expressed his gratitude to the West Australian, saying, “If I didn’t come here, I don’t know where I could have been; could’ve been dead as far as I know.”

Sharon Hallam, the facility manager at Villa Pelletier, emphasised the importance of providing housing for homeless individuals over 65, stating, “We just thought, let’s try and give these people somewhere to live. We are only reaching out to the homeless as beds become available in the home.” Prospective residents who meet the criteria set by the Aged Care Assessment Team, have a mental health diagnosis and have demonstrated insecure tenancy in the past will be offered permanent residency with a single room at Villa Pelletier.

Ms. Hallam highlighted the financial challenges faced by most residents at the facility, who rely solely on their full pension. The cost for individuals like Mr. Lukaras to live at the facility is $58.98 per day, covering 24/7 nursing care, lifestyle activities, and all necessary amenities.

Villa Pelletier’s decision to provide housing for homeless elderly individuals has been met with praise and support. 

The State Government spokesperson commended Southern Cross Care for their efforts, highlighting the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government for funding primary health care, including aged care. The State Government has also taken steps to protect vulnerable individuals, providing additional funding to Homeless Healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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