SINCE starting in August last year, workers involved in the “Frankston Zero” program have helped rehouse ten people experiencing homelessness and provided support to another 104.
Frankston Zero is an initiative designed to tackle homelessness started by the Frankston City Strategic Housing and Homelessness Alliance. The organisation is a collaboration between 14 agencies.
The alliance’s chair, Angela Hughes, says that the homelessness rates in the Frankston municipality are “growing and impacting different groups of people, resulting from a range of complex and intersecting social, economic and housing market factors”. The Frankston Council area experienced a 388 per cent increase in rough sleeping homelessness between 2016 and the Frankston Zero launch in August 2021.
“Rapidly rising housing costs and inadequate supplies of social and affordable housing mean that many households are living in housing stress, which occurs when property costs exceed 30 per cent of household income among those on a low income – and in turn increases their risk of homelessness,” Ms Hughes said. “The dominant form of housing stress in Frankston City is rental stress, with 35.4 per cent living in rental stress, compared to 31.8 per cent for greater Melbourne. The majority of people living in rental stress were on very low incomes.”
To help combat homelessness, Ms Hughes says that the Frankston Zero program “operates beyond traditional funding models and includes holistic support including mental health, family violence and trauma support, while working with the person to find secure housing.”
One of the practices used as part of the Frankston Zero initiative is a “By Name List”, a list of rough sleepers in Frankston shared between Frankston Council, Launch Housing, and other agencies (“Aim for no rough sleepers by 2023” The Times 24/8/21).
For more information on the initiative visit frankston.vic.gov.au/Your-Council/Advocacy/Tackling-Homelessness-in-Frankston-City