Re-imagining South Brisbane Men’s Hostel

Blog Re Imagining South Brisbane Mens Hostel

Representatives from more than 25 organisations came together in June this year to take a collaborative approach towards homelessness in Brisbane.

Initiated by Ozcare, a leading not-for-profit organisation, the focus of the workshop was to generate ideas for how best to optimise Ozcare’s South Brisbane Men’s Hostel, the largest hostel in the state.

Ozcare’s Chief Operating Officer, Damian Foley, said it was an opportunity for key people in the sector to come together and share stories, ideas and insights.

“We wanted to open our doors and ask our peers how can we do this better?” Mr Foley said.

“We’re not trying to be something we’re not, we’re a crisis accommodation centre that is full every night, but we do want to provide the best service that we can.”

Ozcare recently spent $230,000 renovating and refurbishing the hostel, with most of the money spent on level five, creating 29 single, lockable bedrooms.

Mr Foley said Ozcare listened to feedback arising from the workshop about the importance of single, locked spaces which promote dignity and respect.

“To have that privacy to be able to close the door is really important,” Mr Foley said.

“We have closed down a significant number of our dormitory style beds, where two people share a space with no door, and instead created lockable, single rooms each with a new bed, mattress, chair, desk, and cupboards for personal belongings,” Mr Foley said.

“We hope that these new rooms allow us to engage better with men who can enjoy the safety and security of private rooms for as long as they need to, while we support them to get their lives back on track.”

Natasha Boyle, Acting Director Homelessness Programs at Department of Housing and Public Works, praised Ozcare for their courage to seek feedback from the sector.

“It’s not easy to open up and say this is how we do business and we want to make changes,” Ms Boyle said.

“We are a service system, it’s been great to see key organisations come together, demonstrate a common understanding and take a collective approach towards homelessness. This is only the beginning, we look forward to working closely together in the future.”


  • 29 lockable single rooms on Level 5
  • 16 lockable single transitional rooms on Level 2 & 4 (these are considered stepping stone to independent living in the community with a bathroom shared between two rooms)
  • 24 single dormitory style beds on Level 2 & 4 (for shorter term accommodation, late arrivals and clients waiting for vacant lockable room)
  • 4 beds on ground level (for residents who are unwell)
  • 18 lockable single rooms to be refurbished on Level 4

A Day at South Brisbane Men’s Hostel:

6.15am Courtyard and outside laundry are opened
6.30am Front doors are opened
6.30am Residents are woken
6.30am – 7.30am Breakfast is served
9.00am All floors except ground are closed to residents. This allows residents the opportunity to look for work, attend appointments, complete case planning with Senior Support Workers or enjoy time in the common areas including television, pool and darts
9.15am Safety check to ensure all residents have exited their rooms
9.15am Residents on cleaning duty are supervised to complete tasks
12.00pm Lunch is served
3.00pm Residents may return to their rooms. Computer room and upstairs television room opened
3.30pm Life Skills programs are scheduled for residents to attend
5.30pm Front doors are closed to visitors. Residents enter through side door
5.45pm Dinner is served
9.00pm Welfare check conducted in on all rooms and dorm spaces
10.00pm Courtyard, laundry, computer and television rooms are locked
10.30pm Rooms and beds are checked when not sighted at 9pm welfare check