Opening Doors Project

Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – David 6 Month Check-In

As we reach the final weeks of the Barry Street Blog, we’re looking back at the success of the project with those who played key roles – and also reflecting on the impact accessible housing has on CLRS’s clients. This week, we spoke to David, one of the clients now living at Barry Street.



David moved into his new home at Barry Street in Echuca 6 months ago, and is enjoying living in the accessible new unit. When asked what he enjoyed most about his new home, he said, “I like it. I like the garden, I like going for walks, and playing with lego and I do craft…”

Throughout the design and construction of the units at Barry Street, CLRS engaged directly with members of the local disability community to ensure the homes were built with the end-users in mind. 2 ‘User Groups’ were formed, which consisted of clients, family members of clients, and local people with disability. Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) says, “The idea of the User Groups is to provide a level of insight that we’ve not had before. It’s a personal insight, which allows us to ensure we’re designing these units to suit the needs of the people who … live in them.”

This level of personal detail allows clients to enjoy the things they love most. For David, having a veggie patch was essential. When asked about his veggie patch, David said, “… I’ve got a veggie patch with tomatoes, cabbage, corn and roses – I’ve got two out there”.



David is one of 20 people with disability who now call an Opening Doors Project house or unit their home. Opening Doors Project houses and units are built to varying standards of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) – which is a set of standards that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have devised in order to provide safe and accessible housing for people with disability. The 4 units completed at Barry Street comply the Robust Standard of the SDA standards. The purpose of building these homes to this level, is to ensure they are secure and can withstand heavy duty wear and tear. Some of the features that have been adopted in these units are secure windows and doors, high impact wall linings, additional sound proofing, and laminated glass. Utilising the Robust level of SDA has created 4 new homes, which provide a high level of physical accessibility, the capacity for overnight support, and with safety and comfort at the forefront.



CLRS have now completed four Opening Doors Projects. In 2023, CLRS will be delivering a new Opening Doors Project – building 2 units in Spoonbill Street, Moama. This project has been majorly funded by a very generous donation from a local couple, who wish to remain anonymous. We have also already received support from 29 local businesses towards the project. This is the largest donation Community Living & Respite Services has ever received, and we are incredibly grateful for it.



Initiatives like ‘The Opening Doors Project’ are only possible through your support, so liking, following, sharing, and commenting are all fantastic ways to help spread the word on social media.

The projects are also dependent on fundraising, and couldn’t be delivered without the generosity of the community.

You can support the ‘Opening Doors Project’ by making a donation at where all donations above $2 are tax deductible. You can also support by purchasing a ticket to our upcoming Fundraising Dinner at the Moama Bowling Club. This will be our 15th Annual Fundraising Dinner, and will feature guest speaker Peter Rowsthorn, who you may recognise as ‘Bretty’ in Australia’s most successful sitcom, Kath and Kim.


Please continue to follow along with progress and fundraisers being shared across the following platforms:


If you’re new to the Barry St Blog series, we’d love for you to go back and take a look at our previous blogs and videos:

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