Launch Housing’s Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) provides an assertive outreach service to people sleeping rough in Melbourne CBD, and the Cities of Port Phillip, Stonnington, Yarra, Frankston and Dandenong. RSI supports individuals who often have complex needs, are vulnerable and the majority have experienced long-term homelessness.
RSI assertive outreach workers provide an assessment and intake into the homelessness system*, case management, assistance with emergency accommodation, and a pathway into crisis accommodation and permanent housing.
Outreach workers can also provide assistance by reconnecting clients to pre-existing homelessness services or establish new supports. If required, it also links rough sleepers to other services.
This initiative has an integrated health response, with support from qualified Bolton Clarke nurses to assess clients’ health needs as required.
Assertive outreach services are crucial for rough sleepers as they often experience systemic barriers to accessing housing support. Without a stable home, it is difficult for people sleeping rough to access health care, especially ‘primary care’ such as a nurse or health centre. This can have serious implications and life expectancy decreases for people experiencing long-term homelessness.
The Rough Sleepers Initiative is the main referral pathway into the Melbourne Street to Home program.
The Dandenong and Frankston branch of the RSI works in partnership with Neami.
*The Victorian homelessness system is organised into designated homelessness access points. This framework, called Opening Doors, provides a coordinated homelessness service response for people in the community.