National Homelessness Week 2023 (7-13 August)

The theme of this year’s Homeless Week is:  It’s time to end homelessness”.

For the entire week, Launch Housing will light up the pillars of Melbourne Town Hall with a display showing the progress that has been made by Melbourne's local councils in their efforts to end. Homelessness.

The Melbourne Zero Network is an alliance of diverse Melbourne-based businesses, brands, organisations and community groups publicly calling for change to make zero homelessness a reality and taking practical actions to end street homelessness in our city. 

Launch Housing Director, Bevan Walker, spoke of Melbourne Zero at our meeting on 5 July.  The Rotary Melbourne Make a House a Home (MAHAH) team are attending a key Melbourne Zero event focused on Creating Liveable Cities For All. Further information will be provided in next week’s Bulletin.

Homelessness Australia has apparently stated that between December and March demand for homelessness services rose 7.5% across Australia amid soaring rents and record low vacancy rates. In total, an extra 6,658 people sought help. Women and children are estimated to make up 74% of those accessing services. In 2019, women over 55 were the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia.

Kate Colvin, the chief executive of Homelessness Australia, said the rapidly rising number of people seeking help made it harder for services to provide it. Every night more than 122,000 Australians are homeless in Australia.  Homelessness affects every part of our country. The best way to help end homelessness is to provide more social housing for people who need a home. Australia has a shortfall of 640,000 social housing properties.  “A 7.5% increase in demand in just four months is unheard of. It forces homelessness services to make extremely tough decisions about who gets assistance,” she said: “When you annualise this demand and add it to the existing people turned away, we are looking at a funding shortfall of more than $450m”.

Mission Australia has provided some facts related to Youth homelessness:  19% of people seeking help from specialist homelessness services last year were 15–24 years, with almost twice as many females (66%) compared to males (34%).The top reasons young people sought assistance from homelessness services were: 19% housing crisis; 16% Family and domestic violence; 12% relationship/family breakdown.

The housing crisis and rising financial stress are apparently pushing more than 1,600 people into homelessness each month as demand for sheltering services soars.

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