Odyssey House Victoria’s adult residential rehabilitation program provides live-in treatment for individuals, couples and parents with their children (aged 0-12). Operating as a therapeutic community, the values-based program provides a structured environment where up to 143 residents and 30 staff work together to help people make changes and choices on their pathway to recovery.
On this page
Due to current restrictions, all Odyssey residential services are operating with some modifications to intake processes.
- Admissions are available. There may be a delay in responding to external referrals.
- Information and Prep groups have been replaced by individual phone contacts.
- Staff are negotiating with detox providers to have one cohort from admissions contained for the maximum stay at the detox before moving to the Therapeutic Community.
About the program
This 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. A number of staff members add value through both their professional qualifications as well as their personal experiences with addiction.
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, children’s centre, property management and the kitchen.
The Therapeutic Community in Lower Plenty will be smoke-free from March 2021. 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.
One of the unique features of the Odyssey House therapeutic community is that 32 beds are allocated to families. Residents who come to Odyssey House as a family unit are fully integrated into the program and also participate in specific parenting and family strengthening activities. Children attend either an on-site child development centre and/or local kindergartens and primary schools. Odyssey House Victoria is committed to child safety and is a child safe organisation.
In general, families are able to have regular contact and visits with residents. The Odyssey House therapeutic community is located at 28 Bonds Road, Lower Plenty.
Exterior aerial photo of the Therapeutic Community
Interior photo of our Therapeutic Community dining hall
photo of our Therapeutic Community horticulture shed
Interior photo of our Therapeutic Community meeting room
Therapeutic Community children's playground
Therapeutic Community gym
Interior photo of our Therapeutic Community kitchen
Interior photo of our Therapeutic Community therapy room
Photo of some artwork from the residents at our Therapeutic Community
Therapeutic Community fire pit
Therapeutic Community from the courtyard
“Coming here has changed my life around. This time last year I was doing nothing. I was staying home in Gippsland using alcohol and my life was going nowhere. When I came in I was really quiet. I wouldn’t talk. About three months into the program I started finding my voice. It’s just fantastic. It’s changed my kids’ lives too. Instead of seeing me home doing nothing they now see me not drinking. …Once there were promises that were never held up to because of the drinking. Now the kids are seeing a mum who has stopped drinking, has her learner’s permit to drive and know that if she makes a promise she’ll stick to it…They’ve settled down a lot and are into a routine.” -Leanne
Residential Family Complex
Odyssey House Victoria offers the only residential treatment program in Victoria (and one of only a handful in Australia) that allows parents to have their children stay with them while they undergo treatment. This means, at any given time, up to 30 children (aged 0-12) are also members of the Odyssey House community. While living at Odyssey House these children participate in an on-site developmental care program run through our Children’s Centre from Monday to Friday. Our family services staff are qualified in early learning and childhood development and are also highly experienced in alcohol and other drug treatment services.
Structured and unstructured play and recreational activities allow children to develop linguistically, cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. Children are encouraged to explore, discuss and share their life events with peers through trained facilitators who create a safe ‘emotionally contained’ environment. Activities are child focused and identified needs are addressed where possible.
Provision is made for residents to have access with their children if they are not the primary carer.
Odyssey House also supports women through pregnancy and childbirth.
The aims of Odyssey House’s family services are many, but the underlying purpose is to provide support, care and healing for children and their parents to help keep the family unit drug-free and for family members to live safe, meaningful lives.
To date, over 1000 children have lived at Odyssey House while their parents participated in the drug treatment program.
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.
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.
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.