Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

The new homelessness scheme will match people with social support services (Bigstock)

People at risk of sleeping rough in Melbourne’s north and west and on the eastern fringes will be among the first to access the Victorian government’s overhauled homelessness-to-housing pathway. Source: The Age.

The Government insists this version will have stronger wraparound services and be more prescriptive with the type of housing available to participants despite fewer people being placed in secure accommodation compared with an earlier iteration established during the pandemic.

The Age revealed before the May state budget that the From Homelessness to a Home scheme, which had a 90 per cent success rate and at one stage housed people in hotels during the pandemic, would target hundreds of fewer people in the coming years.

It can now be revealed that residents in the Melton, Brimbank, Hume and Merri-bek local government areas – as well as the outer-eastern suburbs – will be the first in metropolitan Melbourne to access a new-look program called Homes First.

Instead of housing people in hotels, an emphasis will be placed on social and affordable housing. Participants will also be matched with a multidisciplinary team that can help them with mental health, alcohol and other drug issues as well as family violence.

The areas to first access the program outside of Melbourne include the Goulburn, Ovens Murray, inner Gippsland, Loddon and Wimmera south-west regions.

Melbourne City Mission manager Lisa O’Brien, whose organisation will be the service provider for Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, said pairing wraparound services with a roof over someone’s head in growth suburbs was best practice.

Housing Minister Harriet Shing said the new-look program was an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness.

Opposition housing spokesman Richard Riordan has accused the Government of demolishing too many social homes before building new ones, while the Greens have campaigned against the plan to knock down and rebuild Melbourne’s more than 40 public housing towers.


The areas first in line for Victoria’s new homelessness scheme (By Broede Carmody, The Age)