Over 10 Years of Community Support
October 3 2018
Over 10 Years of Community Support at Oxford Street, Collingwood
The Launch Housing Collingwood office at 68 Oxford Street opened its doors as a homelessness entry point in 2005, to provide integrated, and coordinated responses to people experiencing a housing crisis.
Located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Launch Housing Collingwood is an accessible and highly active entry point to the homelessness service system, assisting over 70 individuals weekly.
Formerly a HomeGround Services office, prior to the merger with Hanover, HomeGround Services provided housing support to the local community since 2002. As demand for specialist homelessness services continues to increase, we remain committed to providing vital support to help people find suitable housing.
What is a homelessness entry point?
Prior to the current homelessness entry point model, the Victorian homelessness services system was fragmented, with no dedicated access points, making it difficult to assess service demand and provide a coordinated response.
The Opening Doors framework changed that, providing assessment, prioritisation and connection to other services for people experiencing homelessness.
Launch Housing General Manager Andrew D’Arcy says, “It’s the hub of the wheel. It’s the first place to attend, and maybe we won’t work out long term housing that night, but hopefully we’ll find you somewhere safe, and it’s a start to find people a permanent housing solution.”
Since 2015, Launch Housing has managed three homelessness entry points in Collingwood, St Kilda and Cheltenham.
If you are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness call Opening Doors 1800 825 955 (free 24/7). This number re-directs you to your closest homelessness entry point.
Finding the Right Service
As no two experiences of homelessness are the same, the Collingwood homelessness entry point has Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) workers to provide a coordinated response to vulnerable community members. When someone comes to the entry point, IAP workers offer a free assessment and work with clients to develop a plan to help them move out of homelessness.
Entry Point Manager Karren Walker says, the IAP teams have a range of services to refer people to, with options for vulnerable families, youth, singles and couples. IAP workers collaborate with other service providers, such as the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, to assist people in their journey out of homelessness, having formed valuable community partnerships over the years.
“At Launch Housing, we’re dead serious about ending, not managing people’s homelessness. Whilst it won’t happen overnight, we will try as hard as we can to go the journey with people, as long as people understand it’s a joint effort. ” – Karren Walker, Launch Housing Entry Point Manager, started her career in the homelessness sector in 1989.
For people experience homelessness they arrive at Launch Housing Collingwood for a range of reasons and with varying needs, many having no place to stay for the night so it’s vital to provide an immediate assessment, as well as a long term plan. In situations where individuals don’t have somewhere to stay for the night, the IAP team will try and find an immediate solution, whether that’s a motel or a rooming house.
Launch Housing’s Collingwood entry point assists over 70 people weekly. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.
There is an increased demand for specialist services state-wide, with 24,800 Victorians experiencing homelessness on any given night. The Australian Homelessness Monitor revealed homelessness in Australia is now outpacing population growth, levels of rough sleeping are increasing and many older Australians are experiencing homelessness.