Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Detoxification Centre supports people battling with addictions

26/05/2011

Since 2005 the Australian Association of the Order of Malta has supported Gorman House, a non-medical residential detoxification centre in Sydney that provides a refuge for people battling with addictions.  Gorman House is a supportive environment where the severely disadvantaged can take shelter from judgment, the pain of dependency and the hardships of life on the streets.

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the centre offers shelter, food, beds and laundry for residents who can spend five days free-of-charge detoxifying from their dependence.  Last year alone Gorman House admitted 1,454 people, with an average of 121 admissions per month.

Run by St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Gorman House was near closure when the Order of Malta stepped in and adopted it as a charitable works project for New South Wales.  At that time, the service only had funding capacity to operate a five-day-a-week service, and many homeless men and women were being turned away. Since 2006, with the Order’s commitment and financial support, Gorman House has been operating a seven day round-the-clock health service.  Furthermore, the Order has been providing volunteer services to Gorman House by providing access to free legal counselling and accompanying individuals to public appointments or long-term detoxification institutions.  Volunteers from the Order also organise recreational activities for the residents.

The majority of the people who come to Gorman House come with severe alcohol dependencies.  Addictions to heroin and methamphetamines, such as the street drug ‘ice’, are also common.  Many of these people have lost relationships with family and friends, are without work and income and suffer serious physical and mental health conditions alongside their addictions.