In early 2020, the 58-bed Odyssey House Victoria Hope Centre was opened. Responding to a need in the Gippsland area, the Hope Centre will provide a Therapeutic Community with structured live-in programs for people who experience severe problems with alcohol and/or drug use, and their associated mental health issues.

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About the program

The program provides a balance between work, structured group sessions and recreation.

Participants are encouraged to deal with self-defeating patterns of thoughts and behaviours. This occurs in a safe and supportive environment where Odyssey House’s values of trust, concern, respect, honesty and love are promoted.

Residents have access to a range of professional staff including counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and social workers.

All residents participate in community decision-making. They also contribute to the functioning of the community through cooking, cleaning, and working on property development and maintenance. Over time, residents take leadership roles in various departments such as the office, property management and the kitchen.

Residential Rehabilitation services at Bairnsdale are now smoke-free. All residents are provided with the option of Nicotine Replacement Therapies or Champix as alternatives to tobacco or smoking, and to help support their withdrawal.

Families are able to have regular contact and visits with residents, and this increases in frequency as residents move through the stages of the program. The Odyssey House Victoria Hope Centre is located at 455 Princes Highway, Lucknow.

Take a tour

Admission

To access this program, participants need to complete a comprehensive drug and alcohol assessment in their local area. An assessment can be arranged through a local service provider in your area. Contact details can be found here.

Alternatively, you can contact DirectLine on 1800 888 236. DirectLine provides a 24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service for anyone in Victoria wishing to discuss an alcohol or drug-related issue.

Once you have been referred to Odyssey House, a member of our admissions team will contact you to obtain further information, discuss your suitability to the program and answer any questions.

Cost

Odyssey House receives funding from the State Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice. Participants are expected to contribute their CentreLink payments towards the cost of the treatment program. There are different arrangements in place for privately paying clients. All expenses associated with participation in the program are covered by Odyssey House Victoria including, but not limited, to food, accommodation, medical costs, therapeutic services and childcare.

History

Peter and Margaret Down first envisioned the concept for the Odyssey House Hope Centre in late 2015. Upon hearing the experiences of two people in recovery, Peter and Margaret realised that their region was poorly resourced for support services.

From 2016, plans for the, then named, Hope Restart Centre evolved. A board of local champions was formed, and strong community support was garnered. Realising that professional management was needed, the Downs approached Odyssey House Victoria and a partnership was secured. Land at Lucknow close to Bairnsdale, was located and a peppercorn lease arranged with the land owners.

Funding to build a new facility was obtained from Federal Government, from corporates, philanthropic trusts, and from Odyssey House, and funding to operate it was secured with the Victorian State Government. With the project viable, planning proceeded.

By early 2019, building commenced and, in early 2020, the 58-bed centre was ready to receive its first residents. Following its construction, management of the centre was handed over to Odyssey House and the name was changed to Odyssey House Victoria – Hope Centre. Staff were hired and a core group of seven residents came from Odyssey House in Melbourne to help new arrivals and staff learn about residential care and the Odyssey House ethos. Because of COVID-19, an official launch for 20 April 2020 was postponed, and new residents were carefully screened and admitted – in smaller numbers than originally planned.

The establishment of the Odyssey House Victorian Hope Centre is a remarkable story of how Peter and Margaret Down and the team they recruited were able to gain widespread community support throughout Gippsland, attract funding, and make their dream a reality.

With grateful thanks to all the key stakeholders and funders involved in making this dream come true:

Peter Down; Margaret Down; Richard Rijs; John Glynn; Tony Ward; Peter Neal; Ricky Ross; Julie Barling; Simon Anderson; Rod Parker; Donna McDonald; David Pollard and Adrian Jackson.

The Community of Gippsland; Victorian State Government; Australian Federal Government; The Peter and Lyndy White Foundation; Alinta Energy; Lou Yang B Power Station.

Contact Hope Centre

General enquiries: (03) 9420 7600
Intake & Assessments (ACSO): 1300 022 7600*

*(This is a centralised intake number to arrange a personal assessment. You can nominate to come to Odyssey House Victoria: Hope Centre)

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    Odyssey House Victoria is a Therapeutic Community member

    ATCA Certified

    This certifies that Odyssey House Victoria has met requirements for certification of the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association Standard. We are proud to be a Certified Group Therapeutic Community Member 2017-2020.