Detour House was established in 1984 and provides up to 15 months support to women recovering from drug and/or alcohol dependency and complex problems in their lives.

The Detour House program comprises a structured three month rehabilitation program in a large, comfortable house for up to seven women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and wanting to recover from drug and alcohol dependency, and up to 12 months support for women who have graduated from the program and have moved into longer term housing. 

The program is based on 12 Steps and is set in a safe and supportive women-only environment.

The stability and safety of our service is maintained by house rules that help women build self-esteem and confidence in a supportive environment of abstinence.

All our clients are assisted to secure safe accommodation. Once they graduate from our in-house supported accommodation program, around half of our clients are referred to transitional accommodation. The remaining women who have public housing return to their accommodation or are supported to access other social housing providers or programs suited to their needs. This can include a longer rehabilitation program or a specific support program.

Detour House staff work from a trauma-informed framework and understand the connections between drug and alcohol use, addictions, domestic violence and childhood abuse and neglect. Our program is designed for women who are wanting to work at being free of drugs and alcohol, understand any personal problems and live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Detour House directly assists more than 200 women each year and provides around 3,000 client contacts each year. 


Detour House aims to prevent homelessness resulting from drug and alcohol dependency.

Our abstinence-based program is designed to build confidence and independent living skills. We provide a foundation for women to be able to move on with their lives with freedom and choice.


Detour House Inc is an incorporated association which also manages The Girls Refuge. Detour House and The Girls Refuge are governed by a management committee of professional women. The management committee sets the direction and a collective sense of purpose for the organisation to fulfil its philosophy and meet its goals.

Detour House receives the majority of its funding from NSW Family and Community Services and the generous and the ongoing support from community organisations, businesses and individuals cover the costs that aren’t met by government funding. We work within a collaborative arrangement with Community Restorative Centre and B Miles Women's Foundation as the lead agency for the Inner City Service for Women with Complex Needs for responding to and preventing homelessness with other inner city homelessness services. 

Detour House is managed by the Management Committee and on-site managers.  The chairperson is Melinda Hunt. 


You can click on the image below to download a copy of our Strategic Plan 2016-2021.




1984 Detour House is established by community members who see the need for a safe, women-only post-rehabilitation service, under the umbrella of Women’s Place refuge for homeless women.

2003 Detour House Inc (DHI) takes over the management and care of Young People’s Refuge.

2007 DHI receives accreditation through Quality Management Services after meeting all standards.

2010 Detour House returns to Glebe following three months of repairs after briefly operating in Petersham.

2011 DHI passes registration and becomes a Registered Community Housing Provider through the NSW Housing Registrar.

2014 NSW Government tenders fail to sufficiently provide for women-only services, threatening YPR and DH with closure. Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre and our management committee form ‘SOS Women’s Services’ with other women’s services to advocate against the impending closures. SOS Women’s Services embarks on a community campaign and receives support from all four local councils, meets with government ministers and Members of Parliament across the political spectrum and collects 14,000 signatures in four weeks to table in Parliament. In September, the recently named Family and Community Services Minister, the Hon. Gabrielle Upton visits YPR and announces that funding is restored to both services along with the other specialist women’s services in the inner city and that they will retain their main properties. Detour House continues its services under lead agency B Miles for the Inner City Service for Women with Complex Needs. YPR continues its services under the Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP) formally named the Homeless Support Service for Girls and Young Women with Complex Needs. 

2015 DHI passes the National Regulatory System for Community Housing. Staff and management committee develop a new strategic plan. The SOS campaign helps to secure funding for Detour House and YPR until 2020.

2016 YPR changes its name to The Girls Refuge (TGR) to reflect the name it became known as during the campaign to save it from closure. The management committee releases the new Strategic Plan 2016-22. 

2017 The management committee starts implementing the new Strategic Plan, commencing with quality improvement and service re-design initiatives to ensure services are meeting the modern challenges experienced by clients and maximising opportunities to work in partnership.