Co-designing a new social enterprise addressing veteran homelessness.

Learn more about this project


5.3% of people who leave the Australian Defence Force each year experience homelessness versus 1.9% of the general population. In consultation with the ex-service organisations and health service providers in its ecosystem, Vasey RSL Care (VRSLC) is addressing the needs of veterans at a crisis point where homelessness, poor access to services and support, and dislocation from their communities, puts them and their families at risk of harm.

Too many of Australia’s heroes find themselves victims of systems they can’t understand or navigate, with or without the injuries they bear from a defence career.

VRSLC resolved to repurpose a building it owns to support veterans with accommodation and wrap around services that it and its service partners provide.

Called The V Centre, this new social enterprise provides transitional support, stabilising the veteran’s situation, enabling them to retake control of their lives by establishing housing, employment, social connections and ongoing health and wellbeing support.


Building on a decade of partnership with VRSLC, Ellis Jones was engaged in co-designing a new social enterprise addressing veteran homelessness (The V Centre) via a program of research, design, business modelling and communication.

Applying Ellis Jones’ start-up enterprise approach and tools, the work comprised:

  • Benchmarking and qualitative research
  • Co-design with health, wellbeing and social services providers in the VRSLC ecosystem
  • Human centred design from the user and service provider’s perspectives
  • Place identity and experience modelling
  • Define the value proposition and Theory of Change
  • Participant and partner journey mapping
  • Service design and blueprinting to establish resource requirements
  • Enterprise business modelling
  • Communication materials


Ellis Jones’ work supported leaders and partners to:

  • Understand key requirements
  • Articulate the vision and impact of The V Centre
  • Communicate the potential and investment value for funders in government and philanthropy
  • Prepare for detailed financial and operational modelling

In addition, our network connected VRSLC executives with veteran leaders in Australia and the UK through which they learned from valuable experience.

Armed with the business model, user stories, service design, business case – and the support of committed partners who participated in the co-design process – VRSLC was successful in its first attempt to raise government investment for the project.

Find out more on the VRSLC website.

“Very comprehensive and very informative. We will use this work a lot.” – Janna Voloshin, CEO, VRSLC