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Homelessness support gets an emergency boost

Catholic Social Services Victoria recently expressed concern that ‘affordable housing must be our focus, not vilifying rough sleepers’.
Media reports (The Age, Tough love in new rough sleeping strategy for Melbourne's CBD, January 27, 2017) have stated that, via an emergency response package of $9.8-million, ‘rough sleepers’ in Melbourne's CBD will be offered "guaranteed" accommodation by the Victorian government. The Age reports that soup kitchens and other street services could be cut back in a 'tougher' and more co-ordinated approach to tackling the homelessness crisis.
This strategy will be headed up by the highly respected executive director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Tony Nicholson,  who is reported as saying that he thinks that many of the people experiencing homelessness have no other option than to be on the streets due to overcrowding of homes and the rising cost of renting.
VincentCare chief executive John Blewonski is also reported as stating that a new approach to link smaller community groups providing immediate food services with larger agencies for a more co-ordinated approach ‘makes sense’.
The Age says that the Victorian government's $9.8 million emergency package will be delivered over two years and include 40 transitional housing units (including public housing and private rentals) to be made immediately available until the end of the year when permanent housing is in place.
This is good news. The new developments are very promising provided that the dignity of those rough sleepers on the street are safeguarded in any actions taken to address visible homelessness in the Melbourne CBD. 

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