FRANKSTON mayor Nathan Conroy has taken part in a challenge to raise awareness about homelessess, going without a bed for a night and living on $10 for the day.
Conroy said he took part in the “Roughin It Challenge” to encourage people to address the challenges of rough sleeping. “Homelessness is fundamentally a national human rights issue that not only needs to be spoken about, but addressed,” he said. “Behind the alarming homelessness statistics are real people facing hardship. It’s also not solely about inadequate access to a safe and secure house – there are other impacts such as disconnection from family, friends and community. No one deserves that.”
Last year council launched the Frankston Zero initiative, which has seen 14 local organisations work together to come up with solutions to homelessness. As of March this year, workers taking part in the initiative have rehomed 10 local people.
“Frankston Zero involves a hyper local approach to ending homelessness that puts each individual at the centre of the service system. This approach involves the creation of a by-name list of each person who is sleeping rough in the local community and maintaining quality data to measure progress,” Conroy said. “Council, Launch Housing and the local service system come together regularly as a multi-agency team, putting each person on the by-name list at the centre of the system, sharing resources and relationships to find tailored housing and support solutions for each person.”
Launch Housing chief executive Bevan Warner said that events like the Roughin’ It Challenge “provide the opportunity to show solidarity with those in our community who are without a safe place to call home.”
“We need to challenge the misconception that homelessness is unavoidable. It just isn’t the case. Let’s use the Roughin’ It Challenge as an opportunity to ignite conversations around the kitchen table, at barbeques and in workplaces about how we can make Melbourne, and Australia as a whole, more liveable and affordable for everyone,” he said.