Journey From Homelessness


There is no one pathway into or out of homelessness. We know it is caused by a combination of trauma, unaffordable housing and inadequate income support, but solutions do exist.

People tend to use and exhaust personal resources, so by the time many contact support services, they are destitute.



  • Financial and housing insecurity

Triggering Incidents and Life Changes

  • Family violence
  • Death of a partner or child
  • Inability to work
  • Health crises



  • People often try to resolve crisis by themselves, or resort to couch surfing and staying with friends or family.

The “Churn”

When people fall through gaps in the system, we refer to this as “the churn”.

It’s a cycle where people experiencing homelessness can become retraumatised, exposed to an increased risk of violence or turn to using alcohol and other drugs.

People in “the churn” may be couch surfing with friends or family, they may have emergency accommodation or they may be sleeping rough.

Launch Housing Interventions

We try to help those in “the churn”, with interventions such as our Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI), Melbourne Street to Home program (MS2H) and our Functional Zero approach.

After providing an initial assessment and planning at a Launch Housing entry point, we help people access options that may be best for them, including:

  • the Housing Establishment Fund (HEF) for emergency accommodation
  • a crisis bed and support services
  • Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP).

Unfortunately, these interventions do not always work.


When the system fails

Unfortunately, under the current system, not all interventions are sustainable…

The Housing Establishment Fund (HEF) is only granted for 12 months (18 months for young people). So when the fund ends, those using the HEF may have to move to transitional housing while they are added to the Victorian Housing Register waitlist. There is currently not enough availability in the Victorian public housing sector to meet demand, so many people will return to “the churn”.

For those that are given a crisis bed and support services, their stay may come to end. Then they will be added to the Victorian Housing Register waitlist, which we know can result in people returning to “the churn”.

For our clients that are part of the Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP), there are other problems. Many private rentals are only affordable is a person is employed, with many people spending more than 40% of their income for rental payments. When that level of income stress becomes too much to bear, people will return to “the churn”.