More than 1500 people were counted as experiencing homelessness in Geelong on census night in 2021, a number which has doubled in the four years since the previous census.
This is why Meli has joined the Victorian Homelessness Network (VHN) to raise awareness about the urgent need for more social and public housing with the Houses at Parliament campaign.
The campaign will see organisations across Victoria deliver 6000 origami houses to State Parliament on 2 August, in preparation for Homelessness Week (6-13 August) as a call for State Government to commit to building at least 6000 new social houses each year, as well as a national plan to end homelessness.
Staff members from Meli have folded almost 700 houses to contribute to the campaign.
Meli supports many people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness through programs such as The Geelong Project and the Youth Entry Point. People Meli supports could be living in their car, staying somewhere temporary such as a friend’s couch, in a shelter or refuge, or have nowhere to go at all.
The leading cause of homelessness for these young people and families is conflict in the family home and family violence.
”At Meli we believe all people deserve safe, stable and affordable housing,” Meli Director Youth, Housing and South West Josephine Taylor said.
“There are very limited rental options across the region, and when there are rentals available, they are often unaffordable for the people we support.
“It is becoming more commonplace for us to have to rely on refuge placements outside of the region, which can put strain on a person’s relationships and supports, including staying connected with school, a familiar GP and caseworker.”
To find out more about Meli’s homelessness supports visit meli.org.au