More than 9,000 people in Western Australia are without a safe place to sleep each night. They may be sleeping in unsafe housing or sleeping rough on the streets.  

The latest Census data shows the overall number of homeless people in WA increased by 8.6 percent between 2016 and 2021.    

Every week a team of Silverchain nurses provide many hours of care and support at St Patrick's Community Support Centre (St Pat's) in Fremantle to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  

The drop-in centre includes a free health and wellbeing service that's been in place since 2015 as part of our partnership with St Pat's to run the centre's in-house clinic pro-bono.

Amber Raffaele is the Silverchain Case Coordinator at St Pat's health and wellbeing service. Her team understands that health care is not a priority for many people experiencing or at risk of homelessness for various reasons.  

"A traumatic event has happened in their life. It could be family breakdown, crippling mental health, family violence, or financial hardship. It can happen to anyone. In these instances, they’re prioritising food and shelter. Health care is the last thing on their mind,” Ms Raffaele said.  

"Our clients at St Pat’s often distrust other health services, and they don’t want to keep telling their story. They’re also deeply ashamed of their situation. At St Pat's, we provide a safe and judgement free space that allows clients to access care without fear or stigma, which can lead to better engagement with other health care providers to support them to move beyond their experience of homelessness.”  

Despite facing an increase in demand due to rising living costs and mental health challenges since COVID-19, Ms Raffaele and her team continue to provide support, delivering Best Care to every person, every time. At Silverchain, we believe Best Care is care that is safe, personal, connected and effective.  

The Silverchain team at St Pat’s are collaborating with other providers to create a more comprehensive and trauma-informed approach to care.  

"Our goal is not to fix people but to offer a safe space where they can access care and assistance at their own pace. Everyone's experience of homelessness is different,” Ms Raffaele said.  

"All we can do is listen to what they need right now and connect them to additional support. We can offer hope that they can break the cycle of their experience of homelessness.”

Silverchain is proud to support the health and wellbeing of our clients at St Patrick’s Community Support Centre.

To find out more about our homeless nursing clinics, click here to find out more