Caring for women in need


Caring for women in need

You’re welcome at Detour House

Detour House has been operating since 1984 and offers a 15 month rehabilitation program to women who are dealing with drug and/or alcohol dependency. The program includes three months in-house and a following period of transitional support with ongoing case management.

The Girls Refuge has been operating since 1975 and provides a three month stay in a safe, home-like environment for girls aged 13-17 who are going through a difficult time and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. For information about The Girls Refuge go to:

Scroll down for more information about Detour House. 

Detour House Inc provides accommodation and care to women and girls in the heart of Sydney through two services – Detour House and The Girls Refuge.

The services are operated by experienced staff and overseen by a management committee of professional women from the local business and health community.

Detour House and The Girls Refuge are funded by the Department of Family and Community Services as Specialist Homelessness Services to provide people in crisis with safe and secure accommodation and housing.

Detour House and The Girls Refuge are both smoke free environments.


We're here to help you

We're here to help you

Our Program

Detour House supports over 200 women a year in the in-house program and also living independently in the community. Our aim is to assist women to break free from their substance dependency, stabilise their circumstances and move onto safe and secure housing and fulfilling lives.

Women admitted to the program meet regularly with a qualified caseworker and set goals which they work through during their time with Detour. Women who stay with us are serious about tackling their addictions and problems and want to live a better life. Detour House provides that opportunity for a second chance.

Detour House employs an all-female staff which includes caseworkers, a manager and administrative support.

The rehabilitation program is abstinence-based and utilises the 12 Step program which provides a set of guiding principles for the treatment of people who are suffering from alcohol and drug dependency. Participants follow a set of recovery steps to achieve and maintain abstinence and many people use a sponsor to help them through the process.

SMOKE FREE As of 1 December 2018, Detour House is a smoke free environment. Detour House provides nicotine replacement therapy for eight weeks after admission.

At Detour House, our program includes:

  • Supported accommodation: Residents are housed in a safe, home-like environment for up to three months during their intensive program.

  • 12 Step meetings: Residents of our three month program are required to attend 90 meetings in 90 days to build insight and resilience – a key part of the program.

  • Individual case management: Intensive case management is provided to all residents through two meetings each week with trained staff members.

  • Relapse prevention: Residents are provided with worksheets to help them self-identify triggers for relapse and have two hours of one-on-one contact each week.

  • We assist women who are graduating from our three month in-house program to find safe longer term accommodation. For some women this means being supported to access public or social housing and for others this can mean returning home.

  • Peer and Transition Groups: Clients who have transitioned to independent living can attend weekly groups and continue to receive regular support from caseworkers.


Is Detour house right for me?

Is Detour house right for me?


Up to seven women are in the in-house program at a time, and during the program they are assisted to find longer term housing to help stabilise their lives. On graduating from the in-house program women can be assisted for up to 12 months with casework and support in the community. We can also help women who are living independently but at risk of homelessness. 

To be considered suitable for admission to the Detour House program women will:

  • have recent substance dependency
  • have completed detoxification and been substance free for at least 7 days prior to admission
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have prior rehabilitation experience
  • be physically and psychologically capable of participating in our program


If you think the Detour House would assist your recovery from drugs and/or alcohol dependency and reduce your risks for homelessness, the next steps are:

Phone us. We will talk to you and together we can work out whether the program is the right one for you. We interview all potential residents to assess their suitability for admission.

Generally the program is full, so if you’ve met the criteria for admission, you’ll be placed on a waiting list. While you’re on the waiting list, we will stay in touch and continue to provide support until a place becomes available. 

Phone us for more information. 


You'll feel at home at Detour House

You'll feel at home at Detour House


Once you’re admitted, you’ll have a three month stay during the intensive part of the program where you’ll live on-site with a small group of up to seven women at a time. A service fee is charged for accommodation and food but everything is provided. Women staying in the house  share household tasks like shopping, cooking and cleaning. Weekdays are structured as an eight hour day of learning.   

Clients are given a daily timetable which must be adhered to as part of your recovery.

Monday-Friday: Everyone gets up at 7.30am for daily reading and small household duties before staff arrive. You’ll be required to hand in your phone to create a focussed environment before the daily 10am session. There’s a lunch break before one-on-one case management begins which requires residents to be on-site until 4pm. The curfew is 10pm.

Weekends: Each resident is given a full weekend plan which is approved by staff each Friday. There is one meeting a day on weekends and staff call in each day to make sure everyone is doing ok and to help out with any issues. There is free time allowed on weekends but all appointments must be negotiated and approved to give you the best chance of recovery.

You’ll also be provided with assistance in finding long-term housing, health education to assist in your recovery, art therapy and living skills from places such as:

  • Leichhardt Women's Community Health Centre for specialist health care and education
  • Wesley Mission which provides budgeting and financial management
  • Private facilitators who provide sessions on relapse prevention
  • The Hep C Council
  • Sound Life providing yoga
  • Oz Harvest for information on nutrition and food. 

What do women say about us

What do women say about us


I came to Detour House from another program because I felt like I needed a bit more work. Detour gave me the opportunity to live with some amazing women and work really hard on some of my more core issues. After completing the program, I was housed in Glebe in my own apartment and with continued support I’m getting back on my feet and learning to live a drug free life.


I began this program a few weeks ago and I already feel a great improvement in my social skills, ability to connect with my feelings, and independence. I worked with staff to zone in on areas of my life that need improvement such as my health, anxiety and other issues that led me towards a dysfunctional existence.


I am really grateful for the ongoing support that’s provided and I feel comfortable to express my concerns in a relaxed environment. I feel so privileged that this kind of treatment is available and would recommend it to anyone in a situation like mine - needing to cease the use of drugs and alcohol while also getting help to get housing.


My time here at Detour House has been a truly rewarding experience. The program takes an holistic and practical approach towards recovery, achieving a harmonious balance between responsibility and self-discovery. Detour House has guided me in the right direction and allowed me the flexibility to find my own two feet in the world, free from addiction. I truly am grateful for my time here.


I have been in Detour for 3 months, and the support I have received from staff is amazing, they have helped me with court, housing, my children and my recovery. I feel loved and cared for and because of this, I have learnt to love myself and know that I can have a future full of happiness, love and meeting my goals. 


I have so much gratitude for this program and staff, without the Detour program the possibility of death, institutions or a life full of misery would have been very real for me and my children.



Meet our team

Meet our team

Experienced, professional and caring

Detour House team members have professional qualifications and more than 40 years combined experience in trauma-informed casework and counselling and understanding women's experience of domestic violence, childhood abuse and neglect, drug and alcohol addictions and recovery.

Detour House employs:

  • General Manager  
  • Case Managers
  • Administrator
  • Art therapist
  • Bookkeeper