From the CEO: Bevan Warner
Thank you for your continued support.
We know homelessness is getting worse not better, but words alone won’t change this.
We need to take action, scale up solutions that work, and get the attention of decision makers and influencers in our communities to make measurable strides toward ending homelessness.
In this edition you’ll see how we’re doing just that. We provided a submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System alongside a social media campaign that reached more than 500,000 people across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
We supported clients and tenants to speak directly to the community, including on ABC Radio and created a variety of materials to inform the policy debate.
Meanwhile, the launch of our tiny homes project was covered by all major television and radio stations. Tenants Deborah and Paul shared their stories on ABC, SBS and others, and in social media that has been shared extensively. Most recently, the project featured on Channel Nine’s The Block.
Change is possible when the community gets involved. We can only do this with the support of people like you.
Chief Executive Officer
Our tiny homes make their debut
On 5 August, to kick off Homelessness Week, we unveiled the first phase of our Harris Transportable Housing Project.
We were joined by more than 60 guests in Maidstone, where six people have moved into the first six of 57 tiny homes. Everyone was welcomed by Deborah (see video below), who spoke of the impact of having a permanent place to call home for the first time since she was a child.
Victorian Minister for Housing, Richard Wynne, and Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz, helped celebrate the launch and acknowledge the unique partnership between Launch Housing, philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, and the State Government.
(Image: Bevan Warner Chief Executive Officer at Launch Housing addresses the media at the first tiny homes site)
Launch Housing’s Property and Tenancy Manager, Darren Bayley, said these tiny homes have already made a substantial impact on the lives of the first six tenants.
“To see the transformation that’s occurred in some of these people, even in just a couple of months, has been amazing.”
Using vacant VicRoads land, this project demonstrates how unused land can be repurposed to create safe, stable homes.
There’s around 195 hectares of government land sitting empty across Melbourne, which could host more than enough homes to end rough sleeping. If governments at all levels unlocked some of this land, projects such as the Harris Transportable Housing Project could be scaled up to deliver housing solutions that the market wouldn’t otherwise provide.
We’re working hard to secure more funding and land to create more homes like these for people experiencing homelessness across Victoria.
Watch Deborah’s Story.
Private Rental Assistance Program re-funded
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government committed to re-fund our Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) for two years. PRAP helps people to find or keep a safe and secure roof over their heads, by providing financial support, such as helping cover the cost of rent in advance, bond or moving costs, and practical support for things like rental applications.
For Maya (pictured), the program provided the support she needed to rebuild her life after family violence.
“Because I was without a home and had no fixed address, no other homelessness or housing services were able to help me. I was close to sleeping in my car. I was caught in a loop and that was overwhelmingly depressing. It really challenged my mental health,” she said.
“Housing is a primal need, and especially as a parent, you want to provide a safe home for your child.”
– Maya, PRAP client
Many of our clients, like Maya, seek support as a result of family violence, health issues or unemployment. “The feeling of having a safe and secure place to call home is impossible to put into words. It’s beyond articulation. I’ve got safety, stability and security that I otherwise wouldn’t have had,” Maya said.
The Private Rental Assistance Program can be life-changing. For those who are on the brink of homelessness it is a priceless intervention.