Victorian Homelessness Network

Overview of the Homelessness Networks

The Victorian Regional Homelessness Networks were initially funded in 1996 with the appointment of Regional Coordinators across Victoria.  There are nine Regional Networks operating across Victoria and across each Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Area.  There is also an Indigenous Statewide Homelessness Network Coordinator who works with the Regional Homelessness Network Coordinators as required. 

The Victorian Government funded the network program in response to a Commonwealth requirement, under the bilateral Commonwealth and States Supported Accommodation and Assistance Program (SAAP) II Agreement, for the development of enhanced linkages between homelessness services.  The homelessness network program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services as a Homeless Services Support Activity (20084).

The Network Coordinator DHHS Funding and Service Agreements require the Networks “to represent homelessness and family violence organisations in discussion with the Department and provide advice to the Department and providers on addressing homelessness and family violence through activities such as:

·         Training and community education sessions,

·         Forums and consultations,

·         Discussion papers and newsletters,

·         Systemic advocacy.  

Regional Networks are included in Part Five of the Homelessness Services Guidelines and Conditions of Funding, updated May 2014, as follows:

“DHHS provides resources for the maintenance of Regional Homelessness Networks. These networks provide an opportunity for all homelessness services to come together at the regional level to improve responses to homeless people in their local communities. All homelessness services are required to participate in these activities.”

Regional Homelessness Networks provide a forum for Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) funded agencies, allied support services and related organisations to come together and resolve issues of homelessness in the region.

The Regional Homelessness Networks come together twice as year as the Victorian Homelessness Network (VHN), to progress issues of shared concern to the Networks.  More information on the VHN can be found at:

The VHN provides a mechanism for strategically progressing issues of common concern across all Regional Homelessness Networks, with a focus on operational issues relating to management of a statewide homelessness service system.  This work includes: Identifying and responding to shared statewide strategic themes and priorities for action across the Regional Homelessness Networks.

·         Identifying and responding to statewide issues arising in relation to the operation of
          a coordinated Statewide Homelessness Service System; including identifying the
          stakeholders and mechanisms relevant to progressing resolution of statewide issues.

·         Identifying strategies for the further development of the Homelessness Service
          System’s capacity to respond to those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness
          and/or experiencing family violence.

·         Assisting Regional Homelessness Networks to align their business planning cycles
          and other key functions in order to increase the effective functioning of the
          homelessness service system.

·         Provision of expert advice to key stakeholders, including the key peak bodies
         (Council to Homeless Persons, Community Housing Industry Association and
          Domestic Violence Victoria).

·         Coordinate the progression of shared strategic priorities with the key Peak bodies. 

[1] One funded position per DHS region.  In 2006 funding was made available to appoint an additional Indigenous Coordinator.

DHS Policy and Funding Plan, 2012 – 15, published July 2013

Resourcing provided funds the Network Coordination positions and some operational costs for the Networks

DHS Homelessness Services Guidelines and Conditions of Funding, May 2014

Northern and Western Homelessness Networks

The Northern and Western Homelessness Networks are two of the nine regional homelessness networks in Victoria.

The Networks previously operated as one Network when the Department of Health and Human Services regions included one large North West Region.

The Networks still share a number of working groups, produce a joint annual consumer survey and work together on shared advocacy.

These two Networks represent the 50 homelessness agencies, operating 180 homelessness programs in Melbourne's north and west.

Orientation to the Homelessness System in Melbourne's north and west

Attached is a powerpoint orientation to the Homelessness Service System in Melbourne's north and west.

NWMR Orientation to the Homelessness Service System Case Studies

For information about the way the Homelessness Service System operates across Melbourne's north and west, please visit the of this website.

NWMR Orientation to the Homelessness Service System

Below is an old orientation to the Homelessness Service System. Unfortunately, the website is wobbly at the moment so it is not possible to delete it.