Joint Northern and Western Homelessness Networks' projects

The Northern and Western Homelessness Networks work share a number of working groups and work together on key advocacy projects.

See a summary of each below and more information on the following pages:
* Annual consumer surveys
* Advocacy campaigns
* A Crisis in Crisis campaign; and
* Making Links: Cross Sector Collaboration with the AOD and Mental Health sectors

Annual consumer surveys

Each year, since 2012, the Northern and Western Homelessness Networks have conducted an annual survey people who have accessed homelessness assistance through the 180 homelessness programs operating in Melbourne’s north and west, about their experiences of homelessness and the homelessness service system.

Over 1,500 people have taken part in the  consumer surveys. The Networks review the consumer feedback received each year, take steps to improve the service system and to advocate for structural change, in response to the feedback received.

Below is a summary of the feedback received between 2012 and 2020.  

You can access a summary of the consumer feedback process here and more reports from each of the annual surveys here. 

Key advocacy campaigns

The Networks have organised two advocacy campaigns together: 'More houses for people' and 'Every Victorian Should Have a Home'.

The campaigns were established in response to consumer feedback that the key issue they experience is that there is not enough affordable housing. 

Both campaigns have involved circulation of a postcard that consumers, workers and members of the public use to explain to the Prime Minister and Premier, what the impact of homelessness has been on them.  The postcards ask the Prime Minister and Premier to:

  • construct a monumental increase in social and public housing

  • create legislation that requires that a portion of any new housing development is allocated as social housing (inclusionary zoning); and

  • construct innovative temporary accommodation that is safe and self contained.

For more information about our advocacy campaigns see the 'Advocacy' page.

Crisis in Crisis: The Appalling State of Emergency Accommodation in Melbourne's north and west

Melbourne is experiencing a housing crisis. As a result, the numbers of people who have no home are increasing. When people have nowhere to live, they often look to the homelessness service system for urgent support. Unfortunately, the Homelessness Service System across Victoria only has access to 423 government funded crisis beds. To make up a significant shortfall in crisis accommodation homelessness services utilise low end hotels and private rooming houses. This accommodation is extremely unsafe and typically of a very poor standard.

In February 2019, the Northern and Western Homelessness Networks launched 'A Crisis in Crisis: The Appalling State of Emergency Accommodation in Melbourne's north and west. 

In response the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing provided funding for two project workers to explore these issues in greater detail. Their report, Crisis in Crisis II: The Way Forward, was launched in October 2021. 

See more information on the 'Crisis in Crisis' campaign here

Making Links: A coordinated project between the Homelessness, AOD and Mental Health Sectors

Making Links was a partnership between the AOD, Mental Health and Homelessness Sectors in Melbourne’s north and west, operating from 2016 to 2019.

Outcomes of the project were:
* A cross sector Orientation Kit to assist new workers to navigate the three services systems in Melbourne's north and west (below)
* A data set on support for shared clients
* Two cross sector forums 
* A cross sector orientation and consultation
* A series of 'think tanks' resulting in the development of a model for assisting frequent service users across the Sectors
* Development of a draft collaborative practice approach.

Click here for more information about Making Links.