Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Main Menu Search

Case Study: Haven; Home, Safe

ProjectThe Sidney Myer Haven Program – Social Curriculum Development




This grant was approved under our previous grants policy (Jan 2014 – March 2017)
Rural and regional Victoria Based in and serving the City of Greater Bendigo
Extending opportunity Providing disadvantaged people with assistance to develop the skills needed to maintain tenancies and sustain employment
Collaboration and partnership Partnerships with a broad range of service, business, health and welfare, and education and training providers across the region

A visionary integrated service model for living skills

Many who move from crisis accommodation are poorly equipped to survive, let alone thrive and frequently fall back into the homelessness system. The Social Curriculum program aims to break this cycle by providing residents in transitional housing with personalised, accessible pathways to education, training and employment.


Haven; Home, Safe has been providing services to the homeless and disadvantaged for over two decades across Victoria’s Loddon and Mallee regions. The Sidney Myer Haven initiative in Bendigo, combines a 23-unit medium-term residential complex supported by an intensive life-skills development program aimed at supporting residents to step up and become valuable and engaged community members.

  • HMSTrust provided funding to scope the development of the education component of The Sidney Myer Haven, the Social Curriculum. The report provides a strong guide and framework for a person-centric program which can also be used by other service providers.
  • The report exposed the need for a focus on foundational learning, which is often less developed or missed altogether, along with pre-vocational and core living skills to enable residents to live independently.
  • The goal of the Social Curriculum program is to provide life learning and foundational skills that engage, open doors and build participants’ capacity and potential to sustain tenancies, gain financial control, develop self-reliance, build trust, friendships and belonging.
  • Residents are supported to develop a personalised plan that sets goals for making positive change in their lives.
  • The Social Curriculum Report brought together many regional providers for the first time, resulting in a deeper understanding of the issues and problems faced by disadvantaged people trying to improve personal capacity and skills.


“The Sidney Myer Haven Social Curriculum is a leading-edge life enhancement program, to break the cycle of homelessness”. Ken Marchingo, CEO Haven; Home, Safe