So, you’ve joined the Melbourne Zero movement already? Thank you! You’re now part of a grassroots movement helping make Melbourne a world-leading city in ending homelessness, starting with ending rough sleeping. Keep an eye on our socials and your inbox for updates on our progress together.
Wondering what you can do now to help?
Know what to do in the moment
Stop, share and care.
Seeing someone sleeping rough in your local area can feel confronting, especially when you’re unsure how to help. While there's no one right action, it is clear that the kindness of strangers can make the world of difference. And that means each of us.
Stop See the person. Simple actions from making eye contact or a warm smile can be the start of acknowledging someone's humanity and dignity. Acknowledge the person is there and part of our community. If it feels appropriate, consider pausing to share a pleasant comment.
Share If it feels appropriate, consider asking how the person is and if there’s something they'd like. Sharing a hot coffee, voucher, food, money or socks can brighten someone’s day. If they have an animal, share kind words about it or ask what their pet’s name is. Be sure to keep your own expectations in check. Be mindful that some people don’t want to be approached.
Care While you've just shown that our community cares, know there’s more you can do as you walk away. Contacting your local council can help connect someone with the immediate and longer term support they need. Read on for other actions you can take to help.
Spark change in your community today
Here’s your 7-day action plan to make a tangible difference. Pick one action each day. Then invite a friend to join you - and repeat!
- Help bust stigma on what homelessness is, who experiences it and how it’s solved. Words matter. Simple changes like replacing the phrase homeless person with person experiencing homelessness reflects it’s a temporary experience rather than someone’s permanent identity. Say something positive about public housing in your community. Use our helpful guide for having conversations at home, work or school. Help reinforce that only more housing + healthcare + support ends homelessness.
Help amplify advocacy campaigns that address the root causes of homelessness. Engage with and share our TikTok and Instagram content, and show your support for:
- Everybody’s Home a national campaign to fix the housing crisis. Raise the Rate a national campaign to increase JobSeeker & Rent Assistance to keep people out of poverty permanently.
- YIMBY Melbourne a movement advocating for housing abundance across Melbourne's inner-city councils on behalf of the voices of people who'd like to live in an area but can't.
- Use your purchasing power – and ‘pay it forward’ when buying your next coffee, catering, clothes, good read, cosmetics or interior design. Our Melbourne Zero Network members, and a host of social enterprises, are all actively addressing homelessness in Melbourne. Show them some love in return. Why not buy one extra for someone else doing it tough?
- Donate or volunteer to support a community organisation working to end homelessness. One-off donations from the public help run and scale support services and housing solutions. Regular gifts (monthly donations) provide stability that enables even deeper impact. Many orgs in our Melbourne Zero Network rely on volunteers like you to deliver their services.
- Rough it for those doing it tough – take a challenge for one day that helps end homelessness for lifetime. Pick a date and don your free beanie in The Roughin’ It Challenge with mates from work, school or family – 24 hours that not only helps people experiencing homelessness but delivers insights that will surprise you.
- Consider switching the management of any investment properties in your orbit to an ethical real estate agency. HomeGround Real Estate is a social enterprise real estate agency where 100% profits help end homelessness in Melbourne. It offers premium property management services enabling property owners to rent out their investment at standard market rates or offer affordable or social rental rates (with special tax-deductible benefits!) for an even greater impact.
- Take steps in your workplace to become a more inclusive employer for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The Body Shop implemented Australia’ first Open Hiring practice in 2021 seeking Christmas casual staff based on their potential not their past. They gained loyal permanent employees and started changing lives. Ikea and Dan Murphy’s have since come on board. Open Hiring can be a gamechanger.
Want to create deeper change in your local area? Contact us about becoming a Community Organiser.
Help scale community action to end homelessness in Melbourne. We’re looking for people LIKE YOU to take the Melbourne Zero movement to the next level. Interested in mobilising like-minded people to help end street homelessness in your local area? Please get in touch today.
Be part of systems change that ends homelessness for good
- Find out what your local council is doing to increase affordable housing and end homelessness. Emailing council is a great first step to show local community interest and support, while being looped into changes near you. Can your council clearly answer these 4 questions?
- What are council’s plans to increase affordable housing and end homelessness? And how is this coordinated with others inc nearby councils?
- Will the number of people sleeping rough in our LGA be housed by the new social housing coming to our area through Victoria’s ‘Big Build’? If not, what else is council doing to ensure people sleeping rough in our LGA can move rapidly into long term housing?
- What is council doing to de-stigmatise social housing in our LGA?
- How can I and other residents help with the above?
Don’t forget, if your council is doing a great job, let them know!
- Say “YIMBY” (Yes In My Backyard) to new housing developments that include affordable housing in your area. More affordable housing in Melbourne = less homelessness. Use your voice to support development proposals that include affordable housing and help counter the community opposition that often stymies progress.
- Vote for policies that end homelessness (more housing + healthcare + support). Local, State and Federal elections come but every few years and when they do it’s a moment to reflect on the policies and platforms candidates and parties offer to end homelessness in Melbourne. Policy-fueled problems require policy-change solutions. See the handy summary on VCOSS website. Spread the word. Every vote counts.
And while you're here... don't forget to explore this website.
See the data for yourself – progress towards zero homelessness is underway across Melbourne council areas today. Explore real stories, hear some things you should know, engage with Big Thinker perspectives. Arm yourself with the facts, and solutions to end homelessness.
Be surprised. Be challenged. Be inspired to take the actions you can to help make Melbourne a world-leading city in ending homelessness, starting with ending rough sleeping.