Launch Housing, Melbourne’s largest independent provider of homelessness services, welcomed today’s announcement by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Chief Commissioner of Police Graham Ashton on new rough sleeping protocols.
Mr Tony Keenan, CEO of Launch Housing, said the approach was in keeping with the history of how the City of Melbourne and Victoria Police have worked with agencies to support our most vulnerable citizens.
“We welcome this approach, which says that the best way to solve our city’s homelessness crisis is through strong partnerships which work to get people housed and supported. The protocols recognise the need to deal with street clutter and amenity while also supporting people who are experiencing homelessness.”
The City of Melbourne’s 2016 StreetCount showed that nearly 250 individuals were sleeping rough in Melbourne’s Central Business District at the time of the count. This represented a staggering 75% increase over a two-year period.
Launch Housing provides a range of outreach services to people who are sleeping rough in inner Melbourne and delivers the dedicated daily support team, including the Rough Sleepers Initiative, for the City of Melbourne.
Mr Keenan said it will take even more investment from state and commonwealth governments to solve the crisis.
“This crisis has been building for years, and even with the best efforts, it will take time to significantly reduce rough sleeping. Launch Housing welcomes the substantial investment from the Government of Victoria, but this has to be seen as the start of a sustained and long-term approach to increase social and affordable housing.”