The St Vincent de Paul Society in Western Australia is pleased that the new Tom Fisher House located at 278 Beaufort Street Highgate is now in operation, with Perth’s rough sleepers now able to enjoy the new surroundings.
Previously running out of an interim location, Tom Fisher House provides a safe sleep for up to 12 people, including couples, for up to 7 nights for long term rough sleepers, along with access to meals, clothing and bedding, medical assistance, referrals to drug and alcohol, mental health and other support services.
Part of the Street to Home Program and funded by the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, Tom Fisher House is a purpose built premises staffed by skilled support workers. Referrals come from other agencies including the Street to Home Program, Nyoongar Patrol, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Service and the WA Police.
Tom Fisher House is named to acknowledge the significant contributions Mr Tom Fisher OAM made to the St Vincent de Paul Society since 1960. Mr Fisher held the positions of Regional President, Vice President and State President in Western Australia. He served on the Society’s National Council for five years, and played an integral role in opening one of the Society’s first services for men experiencing homelessness.
St Vincent de Paul Society’s CEO Mark Fitzpatrick said it is fitting that this service be named after Tom Fisher, because it will continue offering the same compassion, support and hope Tom offered to so many during his time with the charity.
“Sadly Tom Fisher passed away on June 4 this year, aged 95, and missed the official opening of Tom Fisher House on August 9. However, we are pleased he was able to tour the site as it was being constructed,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
“Tom was so chuffed to learn that such a wonderful service would be named in his honour. It is a living testament to his life of kindness and generosity to the community he served so selflessly,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
The project had its genesis in a meeting the Premier Colin Barnett had with the then Archbishop Barry Hickey and other heads of churches in 2010.
The Department for Housing has contributed $4 million towards the land and capital works, with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support funding the operation of the service with a $1.4 million investment for three years. Lotterywest contributed $450,000 towards the fit-out of Tom Fisher House.
Watch the Premier of Western Australia, Hon Colin Barnett MLA, and CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society (WA) Inc, Mark Fitzpatrick, speak about the new service here.
Hon Premier Colin Barnett officially opened the service on 9 August 2016.
Hon Premier Colin Barnett MLA, Shirley Fisher, Hon Andrea Mitchell MLA, Mark Fitzpatrick in one of ten rooms at the opening of Tom Fisher House.