Voice from the frontline

March 23, 2023

Team Leader Dinsel (right) who gave the following view from the frontline. She is pictured with case manager Rory and a resident.

I’ve been working with the Haymarket Foundation for 20 years – much of that time has been in our crisis accommodation facility here in Chippendale.

We work with the most complex of people experiencing homelessness.

Our residents have mental health, drug and alcohol issues and frequently disability and trauma.

We can house up to 28 people at one time – and four of the beds are reserved for people who are HIV positive and two for people who are transgender.

Building a connection:

Some of our residents stay with us for months – and occasionally, when there are no housing pathways (such as with non-residents), for years.

It’s often hard to say goodbye. One former resident recently left us this note:

“Fly. Bye. Gone.

I’m speaking freely like you’re always near me.

I know it’s only air, but I don’t care.

I’m just grateful you can forever hear me …


You have my respect for the work you do. Y’all do a lot of awesome work for those that need your services. I’ll miss you also.”

What is it like in a crisis accommodation facility?

While there is no ‘typical’ day in our facility, there are things which are constant.

Hearty meals are prepared by our cook Phil who is well-loved by residents and staff alike. You can read more about Phil here.

Case managers work with residents to get long-term health and housing outcomes.

And at any time of the day or night things can escalate.

That’s why staff are rostered on 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep everyone safe.

An inclusive service:

We work collaboratively with residents to help support their goals.

While housing is usually top of the list and improving health outcomes is also up there – we also try to make people’s stay here as comfortable and dignified as possible.

That’s why we have a monthly residents’ meeting – to include the needs and wants of our clients, where we can.

Last month, ice cream was requested – and delivered! We’re now making sure that’s offered once a week.

We also offer regular health and other support services and some recreational programs.

Recently, we found out that we’ve been granted some money from the City of Sydney to establish a sustainable garden.

We’re thrilled to start this work which will reduce our food waste, give residents some life skills and make the outdoor space more welcoming.

We are looking for some fresh shoots. I wish you a happy Easter!


Team leader

Your tax-deductible gift this Easter will make a difference to people experiencing homelessness.

Thanks for your kindness and compassion.