VincentCare applauds the significant allocation of funds in today’s state budget for housing; commencing the enormous task of addressing the housing crisis in Victoria.
The $572 million package committed to domestic violence, particularly the $152 million to build and redevelop crisis accommodation for victims, will see the expansion of VincentCare’s crisis accommodation services and community centre in Melbourne’s inner city.
The lack of affordable housing options in Victoria is creating an ever growing, disparate group of people at risk of homelessness. In Victoria almost 23,000 people are currently experiencing homelessness.
The vast majority of Vincent Care’s clients are experiencing significant housing stress, which often leads to other financial pressures putting them and their families at risk of becoming homeless.
“Too many people are being forced into unsafe and unstable housing, such as unregulated rooming houses, motels and caravan parks, which only exacerbates people’s problems.”
“As the report from the Royal Commission into Family Violence highlights, people escaping family violence are the biggest group seeking assistance from homelessness services, and this will no doubt continue to increase for some time,” says Mr John Blewonski CEO VincentCare Victoria. “The additional trauma and harm experienced by women and children who have not only been directly abused and/or witnessed abuse, but who also become homeless when they seek to escape violence cannot be overstated. The loss and harm is enormous. “
When women and their children cannot obtain refuge in an appropriate and safe dwelling, they risk further harm sleeping in cars or in public accommodation such as rooming houses, budget hotels and caravan parks. In these settings, they cannot re-establish normal family routines.
“This budget marks a turning point for Victoria. There’s a long way to go, but in the future we may look back to what we are doing now and see it as the beginning of a long overdue cultural and social change, where the lives and safety of all Victorians are respected and protected.”
VincentCare is a leading provider of housing, services and care for Victoria’s most disadvantaged.