Information for homelessness workers in Melbourne's north and west


The following pages provide an overview of the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west and include all the key documents guiding homelessness practice, including:

Introduction to the Homelessness Service System in Melbourne's north and west
Click below for an orientation to the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west.
The Northern and Western Homelessness Networks  run quarterly orientations to the homelessness service system in Melbourne's north and west. To find out when the next orientation is occuring, contact:

Overview of North and West Homelessness Service System

There are 50 services, managing 180 programs, funded in Melbourne's north and west, to support people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and/or family violence.

Homelessness services in Melbourne's north and west have been working together since 2008 to establish a coordinated service system response for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and/or family violence.

Homelessness services are funded to work with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and/or experiencing family violence, to assist them to find long term, stable housing and address any issues contributing to their experience of homelessness.

Access to homelessness resources in Melbourne's north and west is, for the most part, coordinated by five services (Access Points Services) and one youth specific access point service that are funded for:

  • Initial assessment and planning - undertaking general assessments (either in person or over the phone) of an individual or households’ housing and support needs and personal vulnerability. Support options are discussed with clients and, where possible, immediate assistance of a limited nature is provided.
  • Prioritisation, best-matching and referral to the resources of the homelessness service system -maintaining prioritised lists of all households in need of further assistance from the local homelessness services. As accommodation or support becomes available, clients are best-matched and referred to each vacancy. 

The remaining programs are funded as Specialist Homelessness Services to assist people to prevent or end the experience of homelessness. This assistance may include:

  • Crisis accommodation and support, such as youth and women's refuges. (See below).
  • Brief task based response/short term assistance: time limited, targeted support to assist people to either divert away from homelessness or to reduce their crisis while they are awaiting the support and accommodation that they need. This is a demand management model, providing a small level of support until case management resources become available. 
  • Transitional support, including a variety of support models that are generally provided on an outreach basis, funded to work with people for an average of 13 weeks. The support model is strengths based, case management support. Transitional support workers work with individuals and households wherever they are staying. Each transitional support worker working with single people is funded to work with 48 people a year and those working with families are funded to work with 30 families a year. 
  • Family reconciliation for young people who may be appropriately assisted to return home or re-establish a connection with families.
  • Tenancy plus - providing support to public and community housing tenants who are at risk of eviction.
  • Capacity building - programs to build the capacity of homelessness support workers. These include the Children's Resource Coordinators, Family Reconciliaton and Mediation Program and the Network Coordinator.
  • Brokerage - funds to assist people to access and maintain housing or to address other materila needs.

The only housing managed by the homelessness sector is:

  • Crisis supported accommodation - refuge style accommodation providing onsite support and short term stays for people experiencing complex issues, who are in crisis and need a period of time to stabilise. There are 423 crisis beds across Victoria.
  • Transitional housing - medium-term accommodation in which consumers enter into a tenancy agreement and are subject to the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act. These properties give tenants a stable base from which to work with a support provider to improve their overall wellbeing and pursue permanent housing options. There are about 1,100 transitional housing properties in the North and West. 
  • Foyer models - medium term accommodation with limited onsite support for young people, who are prepared to engage in education, employment and training.

The attached overview of the Homelessness Service System in Victoria has been drawn from the Director of Housing's presentation to the Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2016.

What is the LASN?

A Local Area Service Network's (LASNs) is the mechanism created within a region to assist the Homelessness Network in that region to plan and develop coordinated homelessness responses that make the best possible use of the resources at hand.

Every homelessness funded service in an area is required to be a member of the LASN. LASN agencies (generally homelessness, family violence and community housing agencies) have responsibility for making decisions about the functioning of the homelessness service system in its catchment.

The Northern LASN has 25 member agencies, managing approximately 80 homelessness programs across Melbournes North East and Hume Moreland cathcments (Yarra, Darebin, Moreland, Hume, Nillumbik and Whittlesea)

The Western LASN has 18 member agencies, also managing approximately 80 homelessness programs, operating in Melbourne's west and Brimbank and Melton areas (Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton). 

The Northern LASN meets every two months. A small Reference Group monitors the LASNs' strategic plan.  The Northern LASN can be contacted through Meredith Gorman, Northern Homelessness Networker at

The Western LASN meets every six weeks and is guided by a small Steering Group that meets every six weeks to monitor the LASN's strategic plan.  The Western LASN can be contacted through Sarah Langmore, Western Homelessness Networker: