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Information for homelessness workers in Melbourne's north and west

Introduction

The following pages provide an overview of the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west and include all the key documents guiding homelessness practice, including:

Introduction to the Homelessness Service System in Melbourne's north and west
 
Click below for an orientation to the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west.
 
The Northern and Western Homelessness Local Area Service Networks (LASNs) run quarterly orientations to the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west. To find out when the next orientation is occuring, contact:

Overview of North and West Homelessness Service System

There are 50 services funded in Melbourne's north and west, managing 180 programs to support people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and/or family violence.

Homelessness services in Melbourne's north and west have been working together since 2008 to establish a coordinated service system response for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

Homelessness services are funded to work with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and/or experiencing family violence, to assist them to find long term, stable housing and address any issues contributing to their experience of homelessness.

Access to homelessness resources in Melbourne's north and west is, for the most part, coordinated by five services (Access Points Services) and one youth specific access point service that are funded for:

 

  • Initial assessment and planning - undertaking general assessments (either in person or over the phone) of an individual or households’ housing and support needs and personal vulnerability. Support options are discussed with clients and, where possible, immediate assistance of a limited nature is provided.
     
  • Prioritisation, best-matching and referral to the resources of the HSS -maintaining prioritised lists of all households in need of further assistance from the local HSS. As accommodation or support becomes available, clients are best-matched and referred to each vacancy. 

The remaining programs are funded as Specialist Homelessness Services to assist people to prevent or end the experience of homelessness. This assistance may include:

 

  • Crisis accommodation and support, such as that provided by a refuge.
  • Brief task based response/short term assistance: time limited, targeted support to assist people to either divert away from homelessness or to reduce their crisis while they are awaiting the support and accommodation that they need.
     
  • Transitional support, including a variety of support models that are generally provided on an outreach basis, funded to work with people for an average of 13 weeks. The support model is strengths based, case management support. Transitional support workers work with individuals and households wherever they are staying. Each transitional support worker working with single people is funded to work with 48 people a year and those working with families are funded to work with 30 families a year. 
  • Family reconciliation for young people who may be appropriately assisted to return home or re-establish a connection with families.
  • Tenancy plus - providing support to public and community housing tenants who are at risk of eviction.
  • Capacity building - programs to build the capacity of homelessness support workers. These include the Children's Resource Coordinators, Family Reconciliaton and Mediation Program and the Network Coordinator.
  • Brokerage - funds to assist people to access and maintain housing or to address other materila needs.

The only housing managed by the homelessness sector is:

 

  • Crisis supported accommodation - refuge style accommodation providing onsite support and short term stays for people experiencing complex issues, who are in crisis and need a period of time to stabilise. There are 423 crisis beds across Victoria.
     
  • Transitional housing - provision and maintenance of medium-term accommodation in which clients enter into a tenancy agreement and are subject to the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act (1997). These properties give clients a stable base from which to work with a support provider to improve their overall wellbeing and pursue permanent housing options. There are about 1,100 transitional housing properties in the North and West. 
  • Foyer models - medium term accommodation with limited onsite support for young people, who are prepared to engage in education, employment and training.

The attached overview of the Homelessness Service System in Victoria has been drawn from the Director of Housing's presentation to the Royal Commission in to Family Violence in 2016.

What is the LASN?

Local Area Service Network's (LASNs) are structures created to assist the Homelessness Networks around Victoria to  provide a regional mechanism for homelessness, social housing & family violence providers to meet regularly to plan and develop coordinated homelessness responses that make the best possible use of the resources at hand.

Every homelessness funded service in an area is a member of the LASN. 

The Northern LASN has 25 member agencies, managing approximately 80 homelessness programs across Melbournes North East and Hume Moreland cathcments (Yarra, Darebin, Moreland, Hume, Nillumbik and Whittlesea)

The Western LASN has 18 member agencies, also managing approximately 80 homelessness programs, operating in Melbourne's west and Brimbank and Melton areas (Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton). 

Events

2018November
19 16 days Activist Challenge
20 Brimbank: Working Alongside Families Where A Parent Is Experiencing Mental Health Challenges (Half-Day Workshop)
2018December
7 Final Northern and Western LASNs for 2018