CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol

‘CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol’ What is the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol

The ‘CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol’ is a set of guidelines designed by key health, homelessness and welfare agencies in the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD). It seeks to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to access health services, by addressing the way that workers in the health, homelessness and welfare sector work together.

A primary purpose of the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol is to build pathways between primary health services, mental health services and the homeless sector. The Protocol was one outcome of a 2007 project that sought to address health issues associated with homelessness.

The CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol:

  • creates ways for workers to better support people experiencing homelessness to access health services.
  •  acknowledges the unique ways in which people experiencing homelessness engage with these services.
  • sets out agreed good practice for supporting people experiencing homelessness to use health services.

How to use the CBD Homeless Health Access Protocol

The ‘CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol’ also includes four tools for workers that can assist to improve access for homeless people to health services in Melbourne’s CBD. These are:

How to use the Access Protocol

If you or the organisation you work for would like to learn how to use the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol then please use the Training Manual and resources below. This manual is appropriate for any homelessness or health service provider. Also available are copies of the various referral forms used in the Training Manual.


The agencies listed agree to recognise the guidelines set out in the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol. Some of these agencies are also members of the CBD Homeless Reference Group.

Alfred Homeless Outreach Psychiatry Service (HOPS) / Inner South East Mental Health Service
Australian College of Optometry
Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA House)
City of Melbourne
Clarendon HOPS/ Inner Urban East Mental Health Service cohealth
Council to Homeless Persons
Department of Health
Department of Human Services
Frontyard Youth Services, Melbourne City Mission
Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local
Inner North West Primary Care Partnership
InnerSpace, cohealth
Inner West Area Mental Health Service
Living Room Primary Health Service, Youth Projects Inc.
North Richmond Community Health Centre
North West Housing Network
Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local StreetHealth
Ozanam Community Centre, VincentCare
Royal District Nursing Service Homeless Persons Program
St Vincent’s Hospital ALERT program
The Lazarus Centre, Anglicare
The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Dental Health Services Victoria
The Royal Melbourne Hospital (Emergency Department)
The Salvation Army, Project 614
The Women’s
Travellers Aid
Urban Seed
Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Centre
Young People’s Health Service, Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children’s Hospital
Youth Support and Advocacy Service

For health services – Helping Out Guide

The City of Melbourne’s Helping out: A guide to support in Melbourne contains a comprehensive list of free and low cost support services in CBD and surrounding suburbs that enables health services to refer clients experiencing homelessness to the following support services:

  • Tenancy assistance
  • Employment assistance
  • Travel assistance
  • Legal/financial assistance
  • Counselling and psychiatric services
  • Needle exchange
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Showers/laundry
  • Clothes and blankets
  • Dentistry
  • Hospitals/emergency
  • Health services/pharmacy
  • Accommodation
  • Food

Helping Out can be downloaded here from City of Melbourne’s website.

A table of Helping Out organisations can be downloaded here


Please provide feedback on the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol to INW PCP. If you would like to contact someone immediately with a question about the CBD Homelessness Health Access Protocol, please use the services listed in the Key Access Points in Health.