Why focus on rough sleeping?
Rough sleeping (street homelessness) is the most visible and severe form of homelessness. It’s a health emergency. People who sleep rough are likely to die 30 years earlier than those with stable housing, often as a result of preventable illnesses.
Although a small proportion of overall homelessness in Melbourne, people sleeping rough in our city are among the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our community. The trauma of street homelessness - including heightened risk of adverse health issues, violence and disempowerment - creates barriers that prevent them from accessing the housing, healthcare and support they need to turn life around. People cycle through crisis accommodation and hospital emergency departments, and services are overwhelmed. The trauma of rough sleeping often creates new problems, that more housing alone can't solve.
This is why the Melbourne Zero campaign is sharing actions you can take today to help end homelessness in Melbourne. And it’s why we’re calling for healthcare and wrap-around services to ensure vulnerable people get the support they need to heal, recover and get their life on track, permanently.