Could someone you know be facing homelessness? The answer is yes. It can happen to anyone. Almost 25,000 Victorians do not have a safe and warm place to call home every night. That number is sure to have increased since it was taken from the last census in 2016, and it is predicted that homelessness in Victoria will rise 13% due to the impact of the pandemic.
This is why Vinnies Victoria is actively supporting Australians experiencing homelessness, and needs your help to provide vital services and assistance.
Vinnies homelessness programs and services
The homelessness programs of St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Vinnies Victoria) prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless and support others on their journey out of homelessness towards independence.
How do we support Victorians experiencing homelessness?
- Emergency financial support: We provide assistance with accommodation costs for people in hardship, such as a single mum escaping family violence.
- Soup Van service: Our nine Soup Van hubs deliver meals to rough sleepers and people living in low-cost or temporary accommodation every night. Last year, Vinnies Victoria served 550,000 Soup Van meals.
- No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS): People on low incomes can access no-interest credit to pay for essential household goods and expenses.
- Housing assistance: Our specialised homelessness service and housing provider, VincentCare, assists some of Victoria’s most vulnerable communities, such as people experiencing homelessness due to the housing crisis and family violence.
How do Vinnies volunteers contribute to our homelessness programs?
Our volunteers help keep a roof overhead by providing financial assistance to pay rental arrears or advocacy to real estate agents and other agencies.
Volunteers also assist people to settle into new housing, providing furniture and household necessities, social connections and local support that enables people to engage with their new community or get help with other needs
Our approach to supporting Victorians experiencing homelessness in action:
We combine a unique pairing of professional services alongside strong volunteer-led assistance across Victoria. Our homelessness programs include:
Two people who can talk at length about how valuable this kind of support is are Karryn and Dallas. Vinnies volunteers, Ian and Shelia, came across the couple while they were living in a tent in a council park in Gippsland – and Karryn was visibly pregnant. Ian and Sheila decided then and there that they would do everything in their power to house the soon-to-be young family.
They were immediately moved into a motel, then accommodation in a nearby caravan park. Within two months, Vinnies was able to provide them with a three-bedroom house at nominal rent, where they have lived with their beautiful son Alek, who was born in August 2020.
Your donation could be the gift that provides a family with shelter
Vinnies Victoria believes that safe, stable and affordable housing should be accessible to everyone. We need your help to ensure that we can continue to support homeless Victorians with housing assistance and homelessness services. Make a donation to Vinnies today, because Good Works.
You can also read our submission to the Victorian Government Social and Affordable Housing Discussion Paper, to see our response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on affordable housing in Victoria.