Odyssey House Victoria - odyssey.org.au

Odyssey House Victoria is a human services organisation with a holistic approach to drug treatment. For over 40 years, it has been a place of hope and positive change for individuals seeking to address their substance use.

We recognise that alcohol and other drug use is usually a symptom of many complex and interconnected issues, and is often just the tip of the iceberg of personal histories of significant trauma and disadvantage.

Many of the people we work with have experienced family violence and entrenched poverty, often resulting in dysfunctional living that includes homelessness, disrupted and poor education, mental health issues, and unemployment.

The collective impact of these issues cannot be overstated, nor the need to address them as part of each person’s treatment and recovery journey.

Our programs have gained national and international recognition because they address the causal factors of substance use and result in sustainable outcomes.

We emphasise prevention, youth outreach and community services, which account for about two-thirds of our work.  Collaborative research and evaluation continue to inform our efforts and contribute to the broader evidence base.

Odyssey provides safe havens of acceptance, which for many of our clients, is often the first time they have had the positive experience of being valued. As we hold clients in a safe space, this also provides much needed respite for their families and communities from the challenges associated with substance misuse.

Removing stigma, providing practical and timely interventions is at the heart of our work. Odyssey offers “a hand up, not a hand out.”

Why we are partnering with TCP?

Hardship and vulnerability characterise the lives of the majority of Odyssey House Victoria’s clients, many of whom have histories of significant intergenerational disadvantage including entrenched poverty and lack of opportunity.

Whilst we focus on alcohol and other drugs, Odyssey House Victoria is by no means a single-issue organisation given that substance use intersects with so many of society’s most seemingly intractable issues including homelessness, mental health, family violence, gambling and unemployment.

It is for this reason that we collaborate with more than 100 organisations in the delivery of our services, and believe that exploring diverse ideas and perspectives with others who have a shared interest is essential if we are to make real headway.

As TCP states, complex problems require collective action and it is clear that a collaborative approach, which recognises the interconnectedness of the issues and harnesses the resources of all sectors, is critical.

TCP’s goals closely align with Odyssey’s mission to support individuals, families and communities to thrive, particularly in relation to problematic substance use.

We also believe that reframing old ideas, attitudes and approaches to inequality, hardship and vulnerability could be game-changers. We are therefore delighted to partner with TCP in pursuit of measurable and positive change for our most marginalised citizens.

Dr Stefan Gruenert - Chief Executive Officer, Odyssey House Victoria

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