700+ requests for homelessness support go unmet each week in Vic

As extreme heat hits, new data shows more people sleeping rough. Victorian homelessness support services, like Launch Housing, are increasingly struggling to meet demand, as new data shows a staggering 700+ requests for help go unmet every week.
The Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) figures released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show rough sleeping in Victoria has risen.

Alarmingly, in 2018-19, 8,414 Victorians were sleeping on streets, in cars or in other inadequate housing – 472 more than in 2017-18.

Launch Housing Acting Chief Executive Officer Andrew D’Arcy said the continual increase in homelessness is fundamentally immoral. “As homelessness rises across Australia, Melburnians witness the most visible and severe forms of homelessness every day.

The number of people sleeping rough on our streets and under our bridges has risen 6% in the past year alone. We have an ethical obligation to point that stat in the other direction,” Andrew said. “On an incredibly hot day like today, the most vulnerable in our community will be worst hit. “Everyone equally needs and deserves a safe, stable, affordable place to live. Solutions exist, they just need support from the community and all levels of government to implement.”

The AIHW figures show that in Victoria in 2018-19:
– On average, 105 requests for assistance went unmet each day (or 735 a week)
– More than 6,000 children were supported by SHS on any given night
– Around 60% of SHS clients were women – 1 in 57 Victorians received SHS assistance, higher than the national rate of 1 in 86
– Almost 1,500 clients spent the night sleeping in crisis accommodation on any given night
– The top 3 reasons people sought assistance were:
1. Family and domestic violence (44%)
2. Financial difficulties (44%)
3. Housing crisis (37%).

Learn more about the impact of extreme heat on people experiencing homelessness and how Launch Housing supports its clients.