'Unit 64' came into being in 1975 when the Mission to the Streets and Lanes regrouped its former Homes for Children and Family Counselling Service in Brighton. The Mission housed children and adolescents in two cottages: Unit 64 (64 Wilson Street), and St Faith's (62 Wilson Street), and also provided family rehabilitation services out of three houses situated in Brighton. The services provided at Unit 64 were phased out in around 1984.
The name Unit 64 was taken from the Mission's experimental residential treatment centre at 64 Wilson Street Brighton, which was established in 1974. It was hoped that the new name would help its residents not think of themselves as 'home kids'.
The Mission's work with families expanded in 1977, the gift of a property in Foote Street Brighton meaning that there were now three houses providing family rehabilitation services.
In its 1978 annual report, the Mission to the Streets and Lanes reported on services provided at Brighton. It had phased out its family group home program in early 1977. The Mission's residential program comprises 2 units at 64 Wilson Street (Unit 64) and 1 unit at 62 Wilson Street (St Faith's). The 'St Faith's' cottage was being used for the temporary residential care of children, with a treatment component. Unit 64 was a program designed to meet the needs of disturbed acting-out adolescents of school age, in a setting described as 'midway between congregate care and family group home care'. The services at Brighton accommodated around 19 boys and girls aged between 12 and 15. From February 1978, all of the services at Brighton were administered by one director.
By the late 1970s, the Mission planned to relocate its services from Brighton to areas of more need in the southern suburbs of Melbourne, including Bentleigh. It was planned to relocate Unit 64 to Tibrockney Street in Highett, a less affluent suburb than Brighton, and into a building that was more suitable to adolescent programs.
Sources used to compile this entry: Annual report: the Anglican Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes of Melbourne, The Mission, Fitzroy, 1980 - 1996; Annual report: Church of England, Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes of Melbourne, The Mission, Melbourne, -1980; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 17 February 2009, Last modified: 13 May 2013