Question Time: Homelessness

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In June last year, the biennial Street Count of rough-sleepers confirmed what was obvious to many who live or work in the Melbourne CBD – the number of homeless people has risen astronomically. Official Street Count figures showed an unprecedented increase of 74 per cent since the previous tally.

This figure accounts for the most visible kind of homeless person. More difficult to quantify are the ‘hidden homeless’. The people who couch-surf, live in cars or stay in dangerous or improvised forms of temporary accommodation – largely out of sight and out of mind.

How do we apply targeted solutions for homeless people with different needs? What is the relationship between homelessness and gentrification? How does media coverage stigmatise and entrench homelessness? What is the ‘Housing First’ theory and how does it work? In a full hour of audience Q&A, we’ll delve into some complex problems that demand urgent solutions.

Host Madeleine Morris is joined by homelessness advocates, policy makers and service providers including Jenny Smith (formerly of Council to Homeless Persons), Michael Perusco (Yarra Community Housing) and Lucy Adams (Justice Connect Homeless Law), as well as former homeless person, Erika (currently a volunteer with Vincentcare and Council to Homeless Persons).

Photo of the panellists

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