The Cornelia Program

The Cornelia Program provides pregnant women who are experiencing homelessness or insecure housing with a supportive pathway to:

  • safe accommodation
  • social and community supports
  • individualised health care.

Women who access the program receive accommodation and specialist maternity health services, along with support to other health and psychosocial programs.

They are also provided with guidance and support to access long-term and stable housing

Who is eligible?

Pregnant women or women who have recently given birth and who:

  • are experiencing insecure housing or homelessness
  • have no other children in their care
  • are willing to live alone with their newborn child, and
  • are eligible for the Victorian Housing Register. 

Referrals and intake

The Women’s invites referrals to the Cornelia Program from health professionals and community services. For enquiries, please contact our intake team via email or call the Women’s during business hours on 03 8345 2000.

About the Cornelia Program

Keeping a mother and baby together, with appropriate support, provides at-risk women with the opportunity to care for and stay with their child. The Cornelia Program places an emphasis on keeping the baby safe and supporting the mother-child attachment.

The program can provide support to 36 women and their babies housed in individual studio apartments for up to 12 months. The program includes:

  • Maternity, neonatal, sexual, reproductive and specialist women’s health services
  • Care coordination services to support program participants to access other health and psychosocial programs
  • Support to assist participants to access long-term housing and other support services.

The Cornelia Program is funded by private donors and the Victorian Government and is a collaboration between the Royal Women’s Hospital, HousingFirst and Launch Housing.

Date reviewed: 17 July 2024

Date reviewed: 17 July 2024