Reverend Charles Harris
Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre
The Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre is a sobering-up facility open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, designed to support people at risk of harming themselves or others due to public intoxication.
The centre is an alternative to the Townsville Police Watch House. Clients are transported to and from the centre by private shuttle bus. The centre provides them with a safe and familiar place to sober up, a clean bed, healthy meal, hygiene and laundry facilities and basic first aid if necessary. Assistance is provided to those who are too intoxicated to meet their basic needs unaided.
The 50-bed facility consists of 28 male beds and 22 female beds.
In 2010, the Breaking the Cycle program was developed in response to the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regularly seeking sanctuary from substance abuse. Allowing clients to remain in the centre for an extended period gives them an incentive to become more involved with the programs offered.
All regular clients of Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre are encouraged to participate in the Breaking the Cycle Program. If successful, they transition to Dale Parker Place, community housing or private rental, depending on the client’s capacity to maintain a tenancy.
The Breaking the Cycle program’s proven success has been a great source of inspiration for Yumba-Meta to do more in this space.
The centre faces new and ongoing challenges such as hard drug use, specifically, ice, which continues to impact some clients.
The centre works collaboratively with other services in the Townsville homelessness, public health, Centrelink and rehabilitation services to obtain the best possible outcome for the clients. Many services visit the centre to engage with clients.
Clients must be 18 years or over to access the Centre where support and monitoring will ensure their wellbeing.