In late 2020, a significant bequest was left to Hobart City Mission with the purpose of supporting homeless men. Mountain View launched in October 2020 and provides supported accommodation for people who have been experiencing homelessness.
The gift, left by Robert Sylvester, means that the Mountain View program could be established with the freedom to help residents in the ways that they need.
James Walker is a retired consultant at Simmons Wolfhagen Lawyers and managed the estate of Robert Sylvester. He was a lifelong friend of Robert and Robert’s family.
“Robert had some mental health issues and didn’t always make friends easily”, says James. “The friends he did have he held onto very tightly”.
“He often went to the City Mission Op Shop on the corner of Goulburn and Barrack St. Robert loved that store because he always felt welcome there.
“He would often feel that he was judged at other shops and places, but the people at the Op Shop were always friendly and said hello. So, he had a connection to Hobart City Mission there”.
When Robert wanted to make his Will he discussed his options with James.
“Robert said he didn’t want his money wasted. He really wanted it to help people who were like himself, who were alone, and who experienced mental health issues.
“He wanted his bequest to help homeless men and to support the work of Hobart City Mission because he had that connection through the Op Shops.
“The development of the motel on the Brooker [the Mountain View program] fitted his vision perfectly. This is exactly the sort of program that Robert would have wanted to support.
Erik is the Program Leader at the Mountain View program and said that donations such as Robert’s help to improve the lives of people who have previously been experiencing long-term homelessness.
“These sorts of donations can potentially fund staff that we wouldn’t normally have the budget for. Perhaps specialist staff such as a dedicated Alcohol & Other Drug or a mental health support worker which would provide on-site expert support to the people living at Mountain View.
“Or the donation could be used for other more physical things, such as landscaping and improving the facilities. The layout of a place can make a huge difference to how people feel, and can help to make a space feel like a home”.
Hobart City Mission is incredibly grateful to Robert for his contribution towards the Mountain View program. His gift has created a kinder, more caring Southern Tasmania, ensuring there is always someone there for those in our community who need support.
Click here to read Isaac’s story about the impact of the Mountain View program.