The Out of Home Action Plan is officially launched. This is the first of its kind for electoral engagement of people experiencing homelessness or imprisonment.
We recognise that homelessness can have complex and diverse origins and that it can happen to anyone.
Homelessness can be caused by something outside of a person's control, such as not being able to locate secure, safe and affordable accommodation.
Who are the Victorians experiencing homelessness?
Individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at a high risk of becoming homeless include:
- a person who cannot access affordable and secure housing
- women and children who are escaping family violence (40% of family homelessness is attributed to being caused by family violence)
- people who lose their jobs and struggle to secure adequate hours of work for an income that can cover the costs of rent, food and heating
- people previously working and renting or paying a mortgage who become injured or seriously unwell and unable to return to full time work
- people on a Centrelink income such as an Age or Disability Support Pension or Job Seeker who are unable to secure affordable housing
- people previously staying temporarily with a friend or family member.
Homelessness can affect people at any age and life stage.
People serving a prison sentence
People serving a prison sentence, more than any other group, are marginalised from mainstream society.
Voting is unlikely to be a high priority. Nevertheless, people who are serving sentences of less than 5 years are entitled to enrol and vote. People who have completed their prison sentence are obliged to enrol and vote.
Developing the Out of Home Action Plan
The Out of Home Action Plan was only possible due to extensive stakeholder input.
The VEC consulted with the following services and organisations in the homelessness and prison sectors:
- Salvation Army Crisis Centre
- Star Health
- Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms – North Richmond Community Health
- Mental Health Legal Service – Inside Access
- Corrections Victoria – Lisa Homatopoulos
- Department of Justice – Alex Markham
- Diversitat – Financial Counselling Service for maximum security prisons
- Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission – Lauren Matthews.
About the artwork: One Tree, Many Leaves, Ashlee Harris (2022). The tree shows that we are all connected yet we are all our own person.