55 Central, previously known as ACRAH, was founded in 1975 by Pandora and Kevin Young after their own personal experiences had highlighted the absence of treatment and support options for people in crisis at the time. In these early days, Kevin and Pandora used their own home and resources, with help from volunteers, to provide short-term accommodation and basic care to men and women, most with mental health and/or addiction issues who would otherwise have had nowhere else to go.

Over the years the service grew and attracted some government support. By the early 1990s, in response to increasing demand and recognition of the complexity of care needs, services were expanded. 55 Central was provided with an allocation of 10 community based properties by the Department of Housing which allowed longer term accommodation and support to be provided to a greater number of people. Support workers, funded by the (then) Department for Child Protection, provided a greater level of professional, evidence based support with a shift towards interventions such as case management, education and supported referral.

In partnership with the Department of Housing, a new purpose-built crisis accommodation service and administration building was constructed. In March 2001, 55 Central moved from our original site in Field Street, Mount Lawley to its present location in Maylands.


Kevin and Pandora purchased a house on Field Street in Mt Lawley which they developed into a home for 32 people. As more and more people came looking for support, the Youngs rented more properties. Over the next few years, the couple had rented 7 properties and could assess and house up to 100 people, including women and children. No government funding was received and the Youngs relied on support from local businesses and church groups.

ACRAHs first hostel in Field Street Mt Lawley (1978)
An early resident in the shared room.


The Youngs applied for incorporation of the organisation naming it ACRAH (Association for Care and Rehabilitation of Alcoholics and Homeless). The Youngs gifted their home in Field Street Mt Lawley and the block of land next door to the committee. With the organisation now up on its feet, Pandora and Kevin moved to New Zealand to make a new start.

The Health Department funded a nurse to provide care for clients and support growth of the organisation. A Support Worker was also employed to care for people with mental health issues.


The (then) Department of Housing and Works allocated 10 community based properties to ACRAH under a peppercorn lease agreement. These were used to provide people with mental illness a safe, stable place to live in the community.

1995 – 2001

Staff worked under a joint venture arrangement with Department of Housing and Works to design and build a purpose built accommodation facility on ACRAH land at 55 Central Avenue Maylands.

June 2001

Grand opening of the new building. ACRAH changed its name to 55 Central. The building, still in use today, has the capacity to house 24 men and also features kitchen, communal areas and an administrative office. Support workers, funded by the (then) Department for Child Protection, provided a greater level of professional, evidence-based support with a shift towards interventions such as case management, education and supported referral.


The organisation has grown and now employs 20 workers to deliver 24/7 services to clients and provide administrative support. 55 Central now supports over 200 people per year.

A dedicated team is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness. We deliver trauma informed, strength-based and recovery-focussed services using interventions that include intensive case management, peer support, coaching, mentoring and supported referral. Our workers are skilled in delivering tailored support to people from diverse backgrounds. Workers regularly support people around mental health issues, alcohol and/or other drug misuse, family/relationship issues, tenancy matters, legal issues and financial issues. Co-located on site at 55 Central are specialist alcohol and drug counsellors, psychology services and medical services.

55 Central is an active, respected participant in the community services sector, attending networking events, consultation and training sessions. 55 Central continues Pandora and Kevin Young’s work in educating others and advocating for the needs of people who are marginalised, disadvantaged and isolated in our community.

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