After 27 years of operating, Melbourne City Mission commenced informing families and staff last week of the difficult decision to close its Bridges Service, in Pascoe Vale.
The decision follows an extensive two-year review on how MCM can best deliver flexible and individualised support of the Bridges Services, our only day service, within the principles and funding models of the NDIS.
A range of factors have contributed to this decision, including concerns about the existing Pascoe Vale location, which we have outgrown, and would require significant un-funded capital to address, and the group-based service model of Bridges, which we cannot appropriately remodel to operate effectively with individualised NDIS funding.
MCM understands this is difficult news for participants, families, carers and staff who have been involved in the Bridges service for many years.
Through a staged transition, we will continue to support our participants during term 3 and work alongside them and their families to explore new arrangements and service providers before the closure of the service on Friday 20 September.
MCM will also support our dedicated staff, with professional career transition workshops and free, confidential counselling. Where possible we will look for opportunities to transfer to equivalent positions in other parts of our disability service programs.
MCM remains fully committed to the provision of services to people living with disabilities and we continue to adapt to the evolving environment in which we operate these services.
Melbourne City Mission (MCM) met recently with Bill Shorten and local MP Peter Khalil to discuss Bridges and potential funding options to provide extended support for participants with complex needs to transition to other service providers.
The conversations are continuing and we unable to provide any comment at this stage. We look forward to an update from Bill’s office.
Our focus right now is to work with families to find alternate arrangements. We are engaging with many local service providers, some of whom have indicated they have the capacity and where possible friendship and groups can be potentially kept together. We are working to connect families with these service providers as soon as we can.
Families impacted by the closure of Bridges can contact: