Melbourne City Mission acknowledges the decision to close Bridges, our longest running disability day service, has been difficult for participants, families and staff.
It was a tough decision, and it’s not one we took lightly. As a disability service provider committed to supporting people to live positive lives, we are sad that group-based programs like Bridges are more challenging to offer in the individualised NDIS funding model, and in our case, unsustainable.
We are thrilled that many local providers are increasing their capacity to welcome Bridges participants, and that several are opening new local services. We are continuing to collaborate with all providers, participants and families to allow for a smooth transition.
We are pleased to report that over half of participant families are in the process of transitioning to other providers – either having already moved to a new provider, moving by the end of August or have requested we share information in order to transition by Bridges closure of 20 September.
We are also delighted that more than half of Bridges employees have already been offered employment with other providers, where they will continue to support participants transitioning from Bridges. Provider recruitment is ongoing and MCM continues to support Bridges employees attend job interviews.
At least 11 local programs have told us they have capacity to support people transitioning from Bridges. In July we facilitated a provider expo to introduce participants and families to these providers listed at the end of this update. We continue working closely with all providers as they prepare to welcome Bridges participants.
A significant number of Bridges participants have expressed interest in transitioning to Accord. While Accord continues to work to secure and fit out a new site in the Hume/Moreland area, we now have an agreement in place that Accord will initially operate its new service from the existing Bridges site in Pascoe Vale for term 4 (from 30 September 2019). We are pleased we can support a smooth transition for participants accessing the Accord service until it moves to a permanent local site by January 2020.
We offer our very best wishes to the Bridges participants who have notified us that they will transition to the Onemda service later this month, and we will continue to work with Onemda to support a smooth transition as required. Onemda has now offered employment to many staff from Bridges and staff induction has begun in readiness for a new Onemda service to begin operating from their new site in Glenroy on 19 August.
Yooralla is opening a new Community Hub in Broadmeadows to provide a range of programs specifically for adults with disability across the Western area. This new Hub will include a range of different programs that cover: healthy relationships and friendships, getting out and about in your community, meeting new people, independent living, choice and control in your daily life, working, learning and volunteering.
MCM commitment is to ensure no-one is left without any support after Bridges closes on 20 September. We encourage all Bridges participants and families to contact us if they require any support with their transition. In the event a Bridges participant is unable to move to a suitable provider by 20 September we will continue to support them until they are able to transition to a provider.
MCM is committed to providing support to people living with a disability, and continues to offer a wide range of NDIS services.
Our Support Coordination – a service that assists NDIS participants to understand their funding plan, find and connect to providers, and coordinate services – has expanded to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs with a new site in Boronia, and we are now working on the ground and growing in Bendigo.
Like many others in the not-for-profit sector, MCM is experiencing the challenges of transitioning to the NDIS. The NDIS continues to evolve since it became legislated in 2016, and every service provider is responding and learning more as they move into the scheme.
MCM continues to adapt to the evolving environment in which we operate to ensure the delivery of quality services that support people to live their lives, their way, and can be delivered sustainably.
For families and participants who have any questions ahead of the closure date on 20 September, please contact the Bridges Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03 9977 0004.
|Ability Assist||Broadmeadows||03 9306 1770||abilityassist.com.au|
|BDS Support Services||Broadmeadows||
03 9309 7448
03 9038 9292
|Yooralla||Broadmeadows (opening September)||
0416 035 687 (Melissa Cofre)