Better Pathways Centre

Drop-in day centre to help Territorians who sleep rough

The NT Government is supporting rough sleepers with the establishment of the Better Pathways Centre (BPC), a drop-in day centre that will provide support for vulnerable Territorians in the Darwin city area.

The BPC will offer amenities such as laundry, toilet and shower facilities as well as basic meal services. It will also support recreational activities, in-reach services from multiple organisations and case coordination and referral services.

Operating on weekdays during business hours, the BPC will be an alcohol restricted area.

Request for Proposals

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development invites proposals from eligible organisations to establish and operate the Darwin Better Pathways Centre for up to five years.

To ensure a culturally responsive service model is provided, it is intended the BPC would be operated by an Aboriginal Organisation with the appropriate expertise.

To be eligible for funding under this Request for Proposals, non-Aboriginal organisations may form a partnership with an Aboriginal controlled organisation.

Please refer to the Request for Proposals documentation for a definition of an Aboriginal controlled organisation.

To access the Request for Proposals Guidelines and Response Schedule, organisations will need to register through GrantsNT. Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday 19 February 2020 and are to be submitted via GrantsNT.

An information briefing and site inspection will take place at 9am, Wednesday 15 January 2020, at 56 Woods Street Darwin. Register for the briefing at

For enquiries about this Request for Proposals contact (08) 8999 8433 or email

Where will the centre be located?

Pending Development Consent Authority approval, the BPC will be located at the old Darwin Primary School site, 56 Woods Street, Darwin.

The old Darwin Primary School site will be the location for the Better Pathways Centre.

Why is the NT Government setting up a Better Pathways Centre in Darwin?

The Northern Territory Government (NTG) recognises the need to provide essential services to support vulnerable rough sleepers, including families with children.

Who will manage the BPC?

A Request for Proposal process will select a provider to run the BPC. The provider will have extensive experience in working with homeless people, especially vulnerable Aboriginal people who are homeless in Darwin.

What are the opening hours for the BPC?

The BPC will be open during regular business hours from Monday to Friday.

When will it start operating?

The BPC is expected to open in early 2020, following the completion of internal works and approval from the Development Consent Authority.

Will clients be allowed to sleep in BPC overnight?

No, the BPC is a DAY Centre only. The NTG has secured dedicated overnight beds for homeless people through Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and alternative accommodation services can be sought through the BPC. No one will live or stay overnight at the BPC.

Will people be allowed to camp or drink in the BPC grounds overnight?

No, the grounds will form part of an alcohol restricted area and anyone found camping on the site will be assisted by Larrakia Night Patrol to alternative accommodation.

Will staff be there all the time during opening hours?

Yes, the BPC will have dedicated staff in roles such as reception, cleaning, and grounds maintenance. The staff will also be assisting clients and ensuring client, staff, visitor and neighbourhood safety.

In addition, visiting services will operate from the BPC, such as legal, primary health, housing and homelessness services and Centrelink.

Will the BPC be an alcohol restricted area?

Yes. This will be central to the service model. An alcohol restricted area will create a safe environment and promote better health.

How will the alcohol restricted area be enforced?

The BPC staff will promote and reinforce the BPC as an alcohol restricted area. The BPC will establish a code of conduct for attendees, or a social code of behaviour.

The BPC staff will work in partnership with NT Police, Larrakia Day Patrol and Darwin City Council rangers to support the alcohol restricted area when required.

What if intoxicated or drug affected people hang around outside the BPC?

The aim of the BPC is to create a safe space for everyone, including the local community. Loitering outside the BPC will not be tolerated. People will be asked to voluntarily move on, if they are loitering. If necessary NT Police, Larrakia Day Patrol and Darwin City Council rangers will be asked to assist and take people to the Sobering Up Shelter

Is any construction work required?

No major construction work is proposed. It is the intention to retain the original exterior features of the building and only minimally alter the interior to create a safe, functional and fit for purpose space.

For further information on the Better Pathways Centre, phone the Director, Strategic Partnerships: 8999 3913 or email:

Better Pathways Centre fact sheet

Last updated: 31 January 2020

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