MORE work will be done to combat the rising rate of local homelessness.
There has been a 388 per cent increase in rough sleeping homelessness in Frankston since 2016, council says. As part of National Homelessness Week this week, a program will be launched that sees 14 local agencies team up to tackle the issue.
Frankston Zero has been established by the Frankston City Strategic Housing and Homelessness Alliance. The chair of the alliance, Dr Gillian Kay, said “Frankston Zero will provide the sector and government with clear and specific information about the most vulnerable who are falling into rough sleeping and provide significantly increased clarity on the service and housing responses needed to meet these gaps and best prevent and address rough sleeping homelessness in our municipality.”
More than 60 rough sleepers are currently receiving assistance through the Frankston Zero initiative. “We’re working tirelessly to assist the most vulnerable and make a real difference in their lives – one person sleeping rough has been offered a public housing placement and another 12 have been prioritised for housing in the next few weeks,” Dr Kay said.
“Our goal, through Frankston Zero, for each person sleeping rough, is to tailor services to their needs and work towards housing them as rapidly as possible.”
One man currently receiving assistance from the initiative said “I was working but lost my job and got kicked out when I couldn’t afford the rental anymore. People don’t understand how tough it is. It can happen to anyone. My health is really bad now. I’ve been out on the streets for so long – I can’t remember what it feels like to have a door to lock. Somewhere to just feel warm and safe would mean everything.”
Frankston Zero chair Jackie Galloway said “the initiative critically involves a coordinated homelessness response, where information and resources are shared, to minimise the time spent experiencing homelessness for individual rough sleepers, and to achieve an overall rough sleeping reduction in the municipality.”
“Frankston Zero will initially focus on rough sleeping, the most exposed and precarious form of homelessness. And through Frankston Zero, the sector aims to pool resources to find sustained housing outcomes for them. This is a significant step forward for us,” she said.
Frankston Zero will be officially launched this week. For more information visit frankston.vic.gov.au/Your-Council/Advocacy/Tackling-Homelessness-in-Frankston-City