• Tristan Angelini

Extending Support to the Homeless Through Coronavirus




It’s no surprise that many people are struggling because of the effects of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Some lost their jobs… some lost their homes. Homelessness is something that we need to take very seriously because it is affecting a large percentage of the population – not just in the state, not just in the country, but all over the world. Unfortunately, this problem has gotten worse over the years and it will take more than the effort of one or two individuals.

Not that, that’s the case.

On June 13th, Minister for Housing Richard Wynne announced that $9.8 million in funding will be allotted to support those who have lost their homes. This funding will keep the homeless in their current accommodation to eventually find a more stable long-term housing for them.

Included in the package is the additional Housing Establishment Funding (HEF) for agencies, which is meant to help individuals be placed in temporary hotel accommodation and “create nine data roles to work within newly created Homelessness Emergency Accommodation Response Teams (HEART) throughout Victoria” according to the recent press release.

There is a need for a greater understanding of the housing situation, plus, the needs of the people going through a much more difficult time with the loss of their homes must also be supported effectively. No doubt that there is more than one driving force behind a person’s homelessness. A huge percentage has to do with poverty; but there is also the matter with mental health, family violence, and physical disability. These aspects must be addressed in a way where the support is tailored to their specific needs.

The funding will also cover Initial Assessment and Planning workers wherein they will coordinate with local services to make sure that those staying in temporary hotel accommodations are provided with the necessary support to achieve stable housing, as well as allow them to know the housing options suitable for their current situation.

The Victorian Government has vowed to continue making sure that anyone experiencing homelessness and those at risk will receive the safety and protection they deserve. The government previously announced a $15 million financial support in emergency housing, as well as coronavirus recovery facilities. There’s also $90 million for rapid response housing refurbishments, plus building of houses as part of the housing stimulus package. Maintenance works as well as upgrades are seen to increase the housing options available for all Victorians. The construction industry is also seen as a valuable tool in the recovery of the economy while still facing the current pandemic.

Safe and stable housing is a right of every human being. The goal is to eradicate homelessness, and Xotel is determined to work with the government in making sure that this will come to fruition. As minister for Housing Richard Wynne said, “Everyone deserves safe and secure accommodation. This additional funding will ensure Victorians experiencing homelessness continue to receive the support and housing they need to stay safe during and long after coronavirus.”

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