Housing and homelessness services are deemed essential services and are therefore continuing to operate during the current restrictions in force across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. As a specialist youth homelessness service, Hope Street is committed to providing workforce and client safety in these unprecedented times.
Our front-line teams in the Cities of Melton, Moreland and Whittlesea continue to provide 24/7 services, support and accommodation to young people who don’t have a safe place to call home. Our mobile outreach teams, youth refuges, youth foyer-like programs (supported transitional housing units), private rental transition program and other services remain open. We are committed to being there for young people and young families who are experiencing homelessness.
Our priority is continuing our essential services, whilst protecting young people and their children, our team members and their families, and those who are most vulnerable in the community. To this end, we have implemented some changes to the way we work, including the following safety measures across all our sites:
- Reinforcing strict hygiene protocols;
- Wearing masks / face coverings;
- Adhering to social distancing requirements;
- Reducing personal contact in the delivery of our services;
- Cancelling all non-essential physical meetings, trainings, excursions and events;
- Ceasing non-essential visitor access;
- Vetting any essential visitors prior to entry to our facilities; and
- Enabling all staff who can deliver their roles from home, to do so.
Our teams at all sites are working with the young people and young families we support to ensure they understand the situation and are able to follow Government directives around social distancing and hygiene, whilst responding to any anxiety they may be experiencing. We do this with the awareness that young people and young families who are experiencing homelessness may be particularly vulnerable and at greater risk of serious complications if they contract COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Human Services has provided detailed information on face coverings, including where to buy your mask, downloadable instructions on making your own mask, and how to correctly wear and handle your mask.
We will continue to develop our response as the situation evolves, in adherence with both State and Federal Government directives. We are committed to handling the disruptions with as much grace, patience and understanding as possible.
Please refer to the Department of Health and Human Service’s dedicated Coronavirus web page for up-to-date information, including the steps towards COVID Normal and Victoria's roadmap to reopening.
If you are a young person who is experiencing homelessness in Melbourne, you can find help by calling the Victorian Homeless Crisis Line on 1800 825 955 (24 hour, toll-free) or see our Need Help? section for links to resources.
Please feel free to contact us for more information.
To support our work with young people and young families who are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, please donate today.