The Andrews Labor Government is working to break the cycle of homelessness by intervening early, getting rough sleepers housed quickly and strengthening support services to keep vulnerable people off the streets.
Minister for Housing Martin Foley today visited Ozanam House in North Melbourne to announce more than $45 million in initiatives as part of the Labor Government’s new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan.
The Plan builds on a commitment to grow Victoria’s social housing supply, ensure better collaboration between agencies and improve support services for vulnerable Victorians.
It was informed by former Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson, working closely with frontline agencies. The Plan also reflects the work of the Rough Sleeping Taskforce – chaired by Melbourne Health’s Dr Ruth Vine.
Mr Nicholson's work spoke to a range of issues including the need for a response that is tailored to each individual to help them maintain a roof over their head.
In response, the Government will spend $19 million to establish assertive outreach teams in areas of greatest need across the state – including Melbourne CBD, Dandenong, Frankston, Maroondah, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, and Swan Hill.
These workers will actively seek out and engage with people experiencing homelessness and connect them with emergency accommodation, health services and ongoing support. Other initiatives include:
- A further $9 million to help develop six supportive housing teams to tackle chronic homelessness and deliver individual support to vulnerable people once they are housed.
- An additional $4.5m for therapeutic services in major inner city crisis accommodation centres to improve health, wellbeing and housing outcomes.
- $13 million for an additional 106 accommodation units and onsite support, expanding on the success of the Towards Home program and other rapid housing initiatives.
This latest funding announcement comes as the Government invests $799 million into housing and homelessness – in addition to $2.1 billion in financial backing for social housing.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing Martin Foley
“We want to break the cycle of homelessness in Victoria – that means intervening early and connecting rough sleepers with the services they need to turn their lives around.”
“Through our investments in assertive outreach teams and additional rapid housing, we will give vulnerable Victorians a pathway out of homelessness.”
“Malcolm Turnbull has walked away from a joint responsibility to tackle growing homelessness – choosing instead to slash vital funding and services.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020