The St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Vinnies Victoria) homelessness services prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless and support others on their journey out of homelessness towards independence.

Could you become homeless?  

The answer is yes. It can happen to anyone. The causes of homelessness are varied but include lack of affordable housing, unemployment, family violence or a life crisis such as job loss, mental health issues, professional burnout and relationship breakdown.

What is the definition of homelessness? Almost 25,000 Victorians do not have a safe place to call home every night, according to the 2016 census. It is predicted that homelessness in Victoria will rise 13% due to the pandemic. Hidden homelessness is where people have accommodation but it may be unstable or unsafe. 

What do Vinnies do?

  • Emergency financial support: We pay for emergency accommodation for people facing hardship or crisis, such as a mum escaping family violence. Our first priority is to get people somewhere safe with a roof over their head.
  • Soup Van service: Our eight Soup Van hubs deliver meals to rough sleepers and people living in low-cost or temporary accommodation every night. In 2021, 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 provider, VincentCare, assists some of Victoria’s most vulnerable communities into housing.

How do Vinnies volunteers help?

We combine a unique pairing of professional services alongside volunteer-led assistance. Our volunteers help people who are often living below the poverty line by providing financial assistance to pay rental arrears or advocacy to real estate agents and other agencies. 

Volunteers also help people settle into new housing, providing furniture and household necessities, social connections and local support that enables them to engage with their new community or get help with other needs.  

You can give someone shelter.

Vinnies believes that safe and affordable housing should be accessible to everyone. We need your help to ensure that we can continue to support homeless Victorians. Make a donation to Vinnies today to help combat homelessness.  

What is the Vinnies CEO Sleepout?

Vinnies holds annual flagship fundraising events across the country in June to support our homelessness services. Hundreds of CEOs, business and community leaders sleep out on one night to get a small insight into what people experiencing homelessness deal with every night. In 2021, we raised $9.2 million nationally and more than $1.3 million in Victoria. Read more about the event here – and consider getting involved either as a business or community leader yourself, by nominating a CEO or by donating to one. 

The effects of poverty. 

The effects of poverty include the increased likelihood of poor health and education outcomes, mental and physical health repercussions such as depression, anxiety and malnutrition, family violence and substance abuse. 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 pandemic on affordable housing.