Reverend Charles Harris
Diversionary Centre


Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre

In a twelve-month period 11,622 clients accessed Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre’s services.

The Diversionary Centre is a sobering up facility open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year to provide alternatives to the Townsville Police Watch House for those who are at risk of incarceration, risk to themselves and or others due to public intoxication issues. The Centre is a 50-bed facility with 28 male beds and 22 female beds.

The popularity of the Diversionary Centre amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking sanctuary from substance abuse prompted the instigation of the Breaking the Cycle Program in 2010. Today, its proven success has been a great source of inspiration for Yumba-Meta to do more in this space.

As well as offering a safe and familiar place for clients to sober up for the night, the well-respected staff at the Centre provide more reasons than just a bed and a healthy meal to stay on or return to the facility. Encouraging clients to stay on at the Centre for an extended period provides incentive and opportunities for clients to become more involved with the Programs offered.

All regular clients of RCHDC are encouraged to participate in the Breaking the Cycle Program. If successful they are transitioned onto Dale Parker Place, community housing or private rental depending on the clients capacity to maintain a tenancy.

The Centre provides the clients with a safe place in which to sober up. Clients are offered the use of the shower and laundry facilities, are provided with a nutritionally balanced diet, encouraged to rest and are provided with basic first aid if necessary. Assistance is provided to those who are too intoxicated to meet their basic needs unaided.

The Centre is also facing new challenges as hard drug use, specifically ice, continues to impact some of its clients. Yumba-Meta has been seeking funding for a mental health worker to help ease the burden of hard drug use and mental health concerns, but this need has not yet been met.

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, with many services visiting the Centre to engage with clients.

Clients must be 18 years or over to access the Centre where support and monitoring will be offered to ensure their wellbeing.