Message from our leaders
Homelessness across Melbourne is more insidious and widespread than any of us knew before the pandemic. We suspected we didn’t have the whole picture but the old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t change it – has been shown to be particularly true this year.
Because of the pandemic, we are finally getting an accurate picture of how many people are sleeping rough. Before this year we relied on an annual street count or the work of volunteers on census night. But we now know that was only part of the full picture. Overall, nearly 4,000 people sleeping rough were placed in hotel accommodation between April 2020 and March 2021; this is almost five times as many people sleeping rough across Melbourne than the number estimated (798 in metro Melbourne) on census night 2016.
The devastating effects of the pandemic have not let up. Enormous social and economic hardship has increased Melbourne’s housing crisis. Sustained commitment, evidence-based solutions and ongoing funding is needed to address the source of these issues while still providing immediate assistance to people in need.
We’ve seen how a public health emergency can change things. 1,845 households who had been sleeping rough, will now have a secure long-term home through the State Government’s From Homelessness to a Home (H2H) initiative. This integrated program that combines housing with wrap-around support is providing evidence for an approach that many front-line services have been advocating for, for decades. The challenge now is to be able to scale this up so that the many others still sleeping rough or in insecure housing can find a secure and safe home. We also know that there are still many people who are highly vulnerable to the flow-on impacts of the pandemic – job losses, family violence, disrupted education, and ongoing illness – that will push them into homelessness when federal and state government support ends.
Our ability to activate different aspects of our services, to deliver the right supports to people, where and when they are needed, and to inspire the community to action has been vital to address the ongoing and shifting impacts of COVID-19. This response will be crucial going forward as the full impact of the pandemic is realised.
We now need to make sure that this new understanding, increased collaboration across the service system and influx of investment is maintained so that we can end homelessness for everybody. And the only way to make sure we are doing that, is to measure it and learn from it.
DRIVING CHANGE THROUGH IMPACT REPORTING
We are committed to holding ourselves to account and to transparently demonstrating our progress on improving outcomes for our clients to ultimately ending homelessness. Our reports will focus on outcomes (what changes), rather than outputs (how much of or how many times an activity was completed).
As we embed impact measurement and reporting into our operations, year-on-year data collection will allow us to compare our progress over time, strengthen our understanding of how and why change is happening and adjust our approaches, to amplify our impact.
This, our first impact report, begins to tell the story of what has changed for people, community and society in Melbourne as a result of our work this year, along with our understanding of what has influenced those changes. We will tell this story through our ten impact measures combined with stories of what this means on the ground.
Our impact at a glance
- 15,843 clients assisted
- 9,533 clients presented to our Entry Points
- 2,245 clients exited homelessness into housing
- $6.5 MILLION raised in donations
Outcomes we aim for
People experience positive change in the areas of…
- Stability, security & suitability of housing
- Future readiness
- Health & wellbeing
- Have changed attitudes about homelessness
- Take action to end homelessness
Contributing to a society that is…
- Working together for change
- Prepared for action