St John’s has partnered with HammondCare to provide an aged care facility for homeless people with high care needs on the site next to the church. 

In late 2017, archeology was conducted on site. The excavations revealed the foundations of the two church halls that were previously on this site. The original church hall was in fact the first building on our site. Apart from that no significant relics or items of significance were found.

After that, the petrol tanks that were part of the Caltex service station were removed. This service station operated from the mid-1960’s to the mid-1980’s. Those tanks have now been taken off-site.

At the moment, excavation is taking place. Soon ’piling’ will begin, which means that the concrete foundations of the new building will be put in place.

Our aim is to have the project finished by the middle of 2019.     

Aged Care for Homeless Project

HammondCare is engaged in a project next to St John’s Darlinghurst aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable members of our society – older homeless men and women in Darlinghurst.

The aged care home will have capacity for 42 people who have high care needs. It will differ to many of the services currently available in the area, through its provision of long-term accommodation and services for those with complex care needs – as opposed to short-term, crisis accommodation. It will cater for both men and women aged over 55 years.

The DA was approved on Monday February 27,2017.

Meeting a significant need

The project aims to meet a significant need in service provision for the aged who are homeless in the area. That is, residential aged care that is accessible, long-term, and individualised.

St John’s has been supporting homeless men and women in Darlinghurst for 30 years through programs such as Rough Edges. Darlinghurst is part of an area with the highest number of aged homeless men and women anywhere in Australia – the need is great.

Most existing residential services for homeless people in the Darlinghurst area provide short-term shelter or long- term accommodation, but without higher levels of care. HammondCare Darlinghurst will be distinctive through its focus on care, not just accommodation, as well as serving both older men and women, including those with complex needs. 

The model of care will draw on HammondCare’s expertise in residential aged and dementia care, psycho-geriatric care, all within a framework that is personalised and maximises independence.



Some changes have been made as a result of consultation with the local community. These changes are a direct result of feedback from the community and the independent assessor. This has meant the building has:

  • A smaller footprint with increased setbacks to improve views of the Church and Spire and to reduce any possible shadowing of Church windows.
  • Street activation on the ground flood to better engage the local community. Note that this was a requirement of Council, and we have agreed to do this to comply with their feedback. This is not being done in order to generate income on the site.
  • Relocated driveway to improve the public walkway between Darlinghurst Rd and Victoria St, with increased landscaping.

We have taken into account feedback from Heritage NSW and refined the architectural design to ensure an exterior sympathetic to the area’s surrounding heritage and are confident that together, these significant changes will address any community concerns.

As a charitable organisation, HammondCare will raise the capital cost of the building, estimated at about $18 million, as part of our commitment to the most disadvantaged people in our community. City of Sydney Council has donated $1.5 million towards the project.

Research shows that the Darlinghurst area has the highest number and concentration of the aged who are homeless in Australia, with projections showing that older people will be the largest group of people in need of social housing by 2021, making up around a third of demand in NSW.

Ensuring access and equity

By working with other services in the area, HammondCare aims to ensure access and equity for the aged who are homeless, with a focus on people who have significant care needs and who might otherwise ‘fall through the cracks’.

Discussions have begun with local health and community providers, including St Vincent’s Hospital, about referral pathways for the service.

Further Information