Homeless advocates around Australia are once again calling on the government to implement a national strategy to address the housing affordability crisis – a key driver in people becoming homeless.
Melbourne City Mission (MCM) is lending its voice during National Homelessness Week this year and is urging all Victorians to pressure the government to implement measures to put an end to people experiencing or risk of becoming homeless in Australia.
National Homelessness Week aims to shine a light on the 116,000 Australians who are homeless on any given night, of those 6,000 are young Victorians that don’t have a place to call home.
MCM's Chief Executive Officer, Vicki Sutton, says the government must tackle youth homelessness by investing more in short to medium term accommodation with the wrap-wrap-around supports to address multiple needs.
“We recognise the overwhelming need for additional housing services across the country to help address homelessness in Australia, which is why we are proud to support National Homelessness Week hoping more awareness is raised and action is taken during this year’s campaign,” Vicki said.
"What is needed is short to medium term supported accommodation suited for young people, which supports them to build their skills to live independently, access education, training and employment and build a community network, so they can exit the homelessness system for good."
“Currently most housing options are not very well suited to the needs of young people, and we need targeted solutions to address this," Vicki said.
This year on May 30, following an 18-month redevelopment, MCM opened the doors of the re-furbished Frontyard – a 24-hour emergency crisis accommodation centre – which has helped over 712 young Victorians since its official opening.
MCM General Manager, Homeless & Justice, Wayne Merritt, says the new facility has been fundamental in addressing the needs of young people aged 12 to 24 who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
"As a specialist youth service located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, our team supports young people to develop pathways out of homelessness. As part of our integrated approach, we also offer 24-hour crisis accommodation to support our most vulnerable young people."
"Our policy is that young people can stay here for as long as they need and our beds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. However, given the short-term nature of crisis accommodation, we work towards developing routes out of homelessness for young people, so they don’t face this issue later in life," Wayne said.
MCM is calling on all Victorians to participate in National Homelessness Week by: