Launch Housing applauds the Victorian Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan.
Mr Tony Keenan, CEO of Launch Housing, said the long-term strategy is a solid start to reducing the incidence and impacts of rough sleeping in Victoria.
“This long-term strategy to address rough sleeping in Victoria, with a further $45.5 million towards support and housing for rough sleepers and people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, is a step in the right direction,” said Mr Keenan.
As Victoria’s largest independent provider of homelessness services, Launch Housing recognises that the most vulnerable clients experiencing homelessness end up sleeping rough – it can be dangerous, traumatising and many people who sleep rough will suffer from multiple health conditions.
“We are pleased to see that this action plan recognises the need for a specialised and tailored approach, as well as long-term solutions geared to individualised needs.”
Mr Keenan also welcomes the investments into suburban and regional areas where people were also rough sleeping.
“It’s important that we help people when they first become homeless, in the suburbs and the bush as well as addressing the crisis in the inner city.”
It is increasingly important that longer term housing options are available so that people don’t cycle through two week stays in hotels, crisis accommodation and the street over extended periods of time. Support also needs to be long term and incorporate a recovery model of care.
Launch Housing has always been at the forefront of innovative responses aimed at ending the homelessness of rough sleepers as part of a broader strategic response to ending homelessness in Melbourne. We have a number of initiatives aimed at working with people who are sleeping rough:
- The Melbourne Street to Home program provides coordinated housing, support services and health intervention targeted at Melbourne’s most vulnerable rough sleepers.
- The Rough Sleepers Initiative works with people who are sleeping rough to ensure a responsive, immediate service connecting rough sleepers to accommodation (crisis and long-term) and health services, as well as reconnecting them to pre-existing support or establishing new supports.
- Elizabeth Street Common Ground provides affordable on-site supportive, permanent and high-quality housing to people with complex needs who have been chronically homeless, many for more than 10 years.
- Our crisis accommodation facilities offer a short stay at supported accommodation for people in immediate and urgent need of a place to stay. These are located at Southbank, South Melbourne, East St Kilda and Bob’s Place in Dandenong.
- We also have a variety of assertive outreach responses in the cities of Yarra, Darebin and Moreland, plus the Daily Support Teams based in the CBD.
As a complex ongoing issue, Mr Keenan said it will take significant and continued investment from state and commonwealth governments to solve the crisis.