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Radical new program proposes supervised drinking for the homeless

An unusual new plan proposes to serve the homeless alcoholic drinks in a contained environment in an attempt to reduce their alcoholism.  

The program would see homeless people removed off the streets and given alcohol on a regular basis in a supervised environment. 

Rabbi Mendel Kastel is CEO of the Jewish House Crisis Centre wants to trial the idea in Sydney. Rabbi Kastel told Tom Elliott the supervised program had been trialled in Canada and the USA and had shown a decrease in visits to the emergency room and altercations with police within the homeless community.

‘They’re not coming in to a rehab facility, they’re coming in to a managed alcohol program,’ he said. ‘This actual facility is about managing alcohol and working with these people, and looking at each individual case.’

‘The idea is really to be able to help them manage it, to give them a roof over their heads, and some dignity in their lives and hopefully that will turn their whole lives around.’

Listen in full as Tom Elliott speaks with Rabbi Mendel Kastel