This Homelessness Week (2 to 8 August) we want to shine a light on this incredibly important issue that affects thousands of people in Australia. Yarra alone has the fourth highest figure for access to homelessness services within a Victorian local government area – in 2018–2019 1228 people accessed these services.
Homelessness affects our whole community and we all must work together to reduce this devastating statistic and ensure that everyone has access to safe, stable and affordable housing.
Having a home is a fundamental human right and we are actively working to help people who are experiencing homelessness, including rough sleepers, families and young people in overcrowded accommodation, people living in rooming houses and those escaping family violence.
Homelessness has increased significantly in Victoria in the last decade with figures from the last census showing an increase of 43% in homelessness reports between 2006 and 2016.
Supporting rough sleepers
The stereotypical person experiencing homelessness is most commonly depicted as somebody who sleeps on the streets, but according to ABS statistics only 7% of people experience homelessness across Australia are rough sleepers. The largest proportion is made up of those who live in boarding houses and unstable or temporary accommodation.
While rough sleepers are a relatively small proportion of our homeless population, they are often experiencing a crisis and in urgent need of assistance and compassion. Yarra’s community wellbeing programs help people who are sleeping rough to connect to essential services, but we need the community’s help to find out where they are.
We’ve developed an online reporting tool for rough sleeping sites in Yarra. Please use this tool or call us on 9205 5555 if you notice a site where there are people sleeping rough and our team will respond, visit the site and provide assistance.
Yarra’s Homelessness Strategy
Yarra Council believes that more social and affordable housing is desperately needed and we will continue to advocate and work towards a solution.
We know that the Yarra community strongly supports a compassionate approach to the issue of homelessness and has high expectations that Yarra will continue to provide help to those without a place to call home.
We have been working on a Homelessness Strategy to confirm our commitment to addressing homelessness, so look out for this on our website in the coming months.
Events and campaigns
If you’re concerned about the rise of homelessness in Yarra and across Victoria you can support these campaigns for more public and social housing:
If you would like to learn more about homelessness, these short videos share the lived experience of people in various states of homelessness in Victoria.
The Council to Homeless Persons is running a series of online public events this week – starting with the launch of this year’s Homelessness Week program ‘Everybody Needs a Home’.
- Town Hall Launch event: Monday 3 August from 12pm to 1:30pm.