Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has formally endorsed the merger of two Catholic organisations as they unite to support older men at risk of homelessness.

VMCH and Corpus Christi Community Greenvale (CCCG) announced their intention to merge in August, following a year of collaborating on the best way forward to secure the future of CCCG.

CCCG is a residential care home around 20 kilometress north of Melbourne that provides accommodation and support for marginalised older men with a history of homelessness, complex health needs or addiction. CCCG was founded by Mother Teresa in 1974 and then supported by the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy under the auspices of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The vital need for specialised homes like CCCG is clear, with one in seven people (16 per cent) aged 55 and over experiencing homelessness according to the 2021 census. Studies have also shown the duration of substance-use problems is often prolonged in the homeless population, because their social networks may perpetuate alcohol and other drug problems.

One in seven people aged 55 and over experience homelessness.
L R CCCG RSM Donela Perry VMC Hs Kate Mc Cormack CEO Sonya Smart and Natalina Velardi
From left: CCCG Residential Service Manager Donela Perry, VMCH’s Kate McCormack, VMCH CEO Sonya Smart, and VMCH’s Natalina Velardi. (Photo courtesy of VMCH.)

VMCH Chair Julien O’Connell AO and CCCG Chair Tom Barry say they are proud to unite and ensure the critical work of CCCG will now continue for years to come. The two organisations have a long history of working together, both guided by Catholic Social Teaching.

‘We share a common mission and values to deliver compassionate care for people in need, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised,’ Mr O’Connell said.

‘VMCH’s fantastic reach and resources within the aged, disability and affordable housing and community services sectors will be an asset to CCCG residents.’

Mr Barry said as Australia’s housing crisis grows, it is ‘important to ensure CCCG’s specialist work continues for those affected by homelessness and disadvantage and is strengthened within a highly experienced and well-resourced organisation’.

We share a common mission and values to deliver compassionate care for people in need, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised.

The merger will bring the governance and operations of CCCG and VMCH together, while leveraging and retaining the unique strengths of each organisation.

A transition committee has been established, including members of the CCCG board, management and residents, along with VMCH representatives.

The merger is expected to take full effect by the end of 2023.

VMCH Chair Julien O Connell AO MP Lizzie Blandthorn MP Iwan Walers and CCCG Chair Tom Barry
From left: VMCH Chair Julien O’Connell AO, the Hon Lizzie Blandthorn MLC, Mr Iwan Walters MP, and CCCG Chair Tom Barry. (Photo courtesy of VMCH.)

Banner image: CCCG and VMCH celebrate their merger at the Greenvale site. (Photo courtesy of VMCH.)