History of SHARC

SHARC was established in 1995 by the amalgamation of two community based mutual self help organisations.

Through the assimilated expertise of these two organisations and SHARC’s links with national and international self help organisations and our staff, we have managed to develop a unique methodology to drug and alcohol service delivery. Our approach is one where we draw upon expertise in the mutual self help and professional treatment sectors to develop interventions that are empowering, effective and labour efficient. This hybrid approach has allowed for the provision of high quality services in direct care, education and research.

The Understanding and Support (US) Society

The US Society was established in 1983 as a community of ex drug users for the purpose of assisting those with significant alcohol and other drug related problems. The provision of safe and supported accommodation has been the essential bedrock in US Society service delivery combined with interventions to enhance social reintegration, living skill development and providing opportunities for work or further education and training. Underpinning service delivery has been the sharing of common experiences, situations or problems and peers offering each other emotional and practical support based on the unique perspective only available to those who have shared the experiences. Since 1986 the US Society has been funded through the National Drug Strategy (formerly NCADA) via the Victorian Government Department of Human Services.

The Self Help and Substance Use Project (SHASU)

This agency was established in 1987 as an umbrella organisation for drug self help groups. A harm minimisation approach formed the basis for service delivery which included health education, advocacy, promotion and facilitation of self help therapeutic approaches and the provision practical support services to the drug self help culture in Victoria.

Family Drug Help and APSU

In 2000 Family Drug Help and APSU were funded under the SHARC umbrella of services, as natural extensions of the SHARC self help philosophy.

SHARC purchased ‘the Church’

In 2004 SHARC purchased ‘the Church’, at 140 Grange Road, Carnegie to deal with the need for more space and demand for SHARC’s services. In 2006 building works commenced and SHARC moved into its new offices in 2007.

SHARC has four program areas

Today, SHARC has four program areas – Family Drug Help, Residential Peer Programs, Peer Projects and the Association of Participating Service Users. SHARC is funded by a combination of state and federal government funding as well as generous philanthropic investments. With a focus on self-help, SHARC has become an innovative and contemporary service that provides opportunities for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction and related problems to recover and achieve meaningful, satisfying and contributing lives.

Since its establishment, SHARC has lived up to its Mission Statement, and helped create miracles and transformation for countless individuals, families and communities impacted by addiction.