BGF moves to close BG House
The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) has confirmed it is considering the closure of its supported accommodation service, BG House.
Originally created in 1997 to provide housing to people with high levels of medical need, many of whom were dying, BG House provided 24-hour care and meals. Today nine people live in BG House, with staff providing support and care where needed.
Over the past few months BGF has been discussing the possible closure of BG House and the sale of the property in consultation with stakeholders including government, community service providers, BGF staff and the residents themselves.
BGF CEO David Riddell has said the needs of people living with HIV AIDS has changed dramatically since BG House was established.
“BG House was initially set up as a respite and care facility. The rise of anti-retroviral medications have allowed people to live longer and the need for this type of service is no longer as critical to our clients.”
Riddell said BGF has been focusing on evolving their service model to meet the needs of clients and with the change in outcomes for people living with HIV, a new approach is needed.
“This is particularly important given the influx of new HIV diagnoses who have needs that are not met through a residential care facility,” said Riddell.
Riddell said as an older style heritage building, BG House required continued and significant maintenance costs, which were beginning to exceed BGF's fundraising capabilities.
“While BGF have secured grants in the past to upgrade some of the house facilities we believe that there are major building works beyond our scope and funding ability, that are required to continue to operate this building as a residential care facility.”
Riddell said if BGF was to go ahead with the closure of BG House, BGF would work with the impacted residents to ensure they have the residential and support services they need.
“All BGF House residents will be provided with a residential solution suitable to their personal circumstances. This may include floating care, community support or aged care,” Riddell said.
BGF currently assists more than 1200 people living with HIV AIDS. “We expect this to grow by more than 15% per annum for the foreseeable future. As the number of new HIV infections continues to rise BGF will be ready to embrace these people too,” said Riddell.
Whilst acknowledging the importance of BG House, Riddell said it was essential BGF focused on meeting the evolving needs of clients.
“This includes examining new models of supported accommodation in partnership with other organisations,” he said.