A unique facility designed to help Melbourne’s homeless has undergone a $400,000 revamp to provide support for those living on the streets.
The facility, known as The Living Room, is a primary health service managed by Youth Projects and offers free healthcare and support to people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
The revamp was a five-year project funded by corporate sponsors and designed to meet increasing needs for assistance.
“There has been a rapid rise in the people coming to us for help … we were bursting at the seams,” Melanie Raymond, chairman of Youth Projects, told The Newsroom.
Last year The Living Room helped in 8,000 episodes of homelessness. This year that number is expected to rise to 10,000, Melanie Raymond said.
The building, which is located in Hosier Lane, one of Melbourne’s iconic laneways, has a café, consultation rooms, kitchen and living area with internet access. “It’s designed to make those living on the streets feel comfortable and safe without worrying about being hassled or being told to move along,” Ms Raymond said.
Koos Koeleman, who is currently homeless, told The Newsroom he has worked with other organisations to improve his situation but has made the most progress with Youth Projects. “They pass you onto someone you can trust not several others, it is a one-stop shop and easy to access.”– Liela Boyd
Photo supplied by Andrew Brain