A person is considered to be homeless when they don't have accommodation that is safe, secure and appropriate. People can become homeless due to a variety of complex issues, including loss of employment, family breakdown, mental health and family violence.
Homelessness and emergency accommodation services
The Salvation Army – Opening Doors
The Salvation Army provides assistance for people currently homeless or at risk of homelessness, including:
- access to emergency accommodation
- support and referral
- help for rent arrears and rent in advance.
Call (03) 9890 7144, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Call 1800 825 955 any time.
Phone contact is preferred, but walk-ins are available at Level 1, 353 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, if you do not have a phone.
Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services lists services across Victoria for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping family violence.
If you need urgent help, call 1800 825 955 (24 hours, statewide, toll free).
Help at Hand
We have put together a directory to help support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The directory provides information about free and accessible services.
Download Homelessness Food and Support Guide 2022
Homelessness in Boroondara
Homelessness is a growing national problem and the increase in homelessness is being seen in Boroondara.
The number of people in Boroondara who were homeless on Census night increased from 383 in 2011 to 426 in 2016. These homelessness counts are likely to underestimate homelessness because having no access to accommodation can present a range of barriers to completing a Census form.
We advocate to the State and Federal Governments about the need to increase funding and support for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, as well as for the provision of more social housing.
Boroondara Homelessness Protocol
The City of Boroondara has a Homelessness Protocol, which aims to ensure that homeless people are treated appropriately and respectfully, and are offered relevant support services.
We work closely with The Salvation Army, a local housing service organisation with trained staff who conduct visits to people sleeping rough. This can involve finding accommodation for the person and/or providing advice about other services.
It is important to note that there is no enforcement in relation to homelessness. People who are homeless have a right to be in public spaces and there are ways the community can assist in making a difference.
For all safety issues and medical emergencies, call 000 for Victoria Police or ambulance services.
We understand that begging can be confronting for some. People beg for a number of reasons, including homelessness.
Begging is illegal under the Summary Offences Act 1966 and enforcement of this activity is the responsibility of Victoria Police. If a person who is begging is acting aggressively, intoxicated, intimidating, violent or placing people at risk, you can report the situation by calling 000.