Victorian homelessness package a ray of light in a grim year

The lives of 2000 homeless people who have been sheltering in hotels during the pandemic will be transformed by an investment in long-term accommodation by the Victorian Government, Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald said today.

Mr McDonald said the $150 million boost by the Andrews Government was positive news for this vulnerable group of people who have been worrying about the future as COVID-19 rages around them.

“More than 220 children and 500 women are included in this 2000, and this initiative will provide a safe and secure place to live as well as some much-needed stability,” Mr McDonald said.

“Housing homeless people in hotels has worked as an interim solution to a challenging problem, and this is the next step. It’s great to see the government stepping up to look out for the less fortunate and help them to turn their lives around.”

Mr McDonald said more still needs to be done to address the root causes of homelessness, in areas such as family violence, mental health and family services.

“Funding for early intervention programs can stop our homeless numbers growing in the first place, by ensuring we respond to emerging family and youth problems before they hit crisis point,” he said.

“Some further investment in accessing new work opportunities for the young and providing outreach mental health support to families ─ as well as permanently extending foster care and other forms of state care from 18 to the age of 21 ─ will ensure more positive life chances for vulnerable families and young people. It will also and save money for the state over the longer term.”

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