We have developed a Homelessness Strategy, to help us ensure our response to homelessness is well coordinated and compassionate.

It is based on our commitment to human rights, and our belief that 'everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and of their family' (adapted from Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

From November 2019 to January 2020, we asked you to provide feedback on a draft of our Homelessness Strategy. We then used your feedback to finalise the strategy.

The strategy was adopted on Tuesday 18 August 2020, and the document is now being finalised. You can read the report and draft that was presented at the Council Meeting on our website.

What you told us

The feedback we received from the community was supportive of the strategy. It is clear that the Yarra community is keen to see action in this area.

Some of the key things we heard from the community were:

  • An increase in affordable, long-term, supported housing options is urgently needed.
  • Yarra Council should work towards preventing homelessness by addressing the causes instead of the symptoms.
  • Employment and education pathways are as important as housing.
  • Permanent housing must be combined with tailored support, such as health care, counselling and employment services.
  • Collaboration is needed across local governments and all governmental levels.

This feedback is reflected in the overall aim of the strategy, which is to improve the outcomes for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Yarra.

It is also supported by three strategic directions that address different stages of homelessness: crisis, early intervention and prevention.

Our goals for addressing homelessness in Yarra

Through the strategy, we will:

  • Deliver a coordinated and compassionate crisis response to people who are sleeping rough and those who are homeless.
  • Focus on early intervention for people who are vulnerable or at risk to avoid homelessness and other crises.
  • Work toward the ultimate goal of prevention by supporting an increase of social and affordable housing and appropriate support services.

If you have any questions about the consultation or the strategy, please contact our Social Strategy and Community Development team at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on (03) 9205 5555.

If you have any concerns about rough sleeping in Yarra, you can let us know through our online form, which helps us to arrange outreach and response services.