Outreach team to help break homeless cycle in Ballarat

HELPING HAND: The state government has announced funding for an outreach team in Ballarat to help break the homeless cycle.
HELPING HAND: The state government has announced funding for an outreach team in Ballarat to help break the homeless cycle.

An outreach team will be set up in Ballarat in an effort to tackle homelessness in the city.

The “assertive outreach team” in Ballarat is one of several around Victoria announced at the weekend as part of the state government’s $45 million initiative to break the homelessness cycle by getting rough sleepers housed quickly.

It will also improve collaboration between agencies and services available to the homeless in Ballarat.

Outreach workers will actively seek out and engage with people experiencing homelessness in Ballarat and connect them with emergency accommodation, health services and ongoing support.

City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson said given the size of the homeless problem in Ballarat, he welcomed the latest funding.

TIME FOR CHANGE: City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson has welcomed funding for an outreach team to help with the homelessness problem in Ballarat.

TIME FOR CHANGE: City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson has welcomed funding for an outreach team to help with the homelessness problem in Ballarat.

“We struggle to know the full extent of homelessness across Ballarat … we essentially have a hidden homeless population, unlike the Melbourne CBD,” Cr Hudson said.

Homelessness can happen to any demographic … it’s easy to judge until you have walked in their shoes.

- City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson

“It is good to see the state government put money into helping the most vulnerable.

“Homelessness can happen to any demographic … it’s easy to judge until you have walked in their shoes.”

In announcing the plan at the weekend, Housing Minister Martin Foley stressed the cycle of homelessness in Victoria needed to be broken.

“... that means intervening early and connecting rough sleepers with the services they need to turn their lives around,” Mr Foley said.

“Through our investments, we will give vulnerable Victorians a pathway out of homelessness.”