Homelessness in Melbourne: how do we tackle this social crisis in the pandemic and beyond?

Recently, the Chair of MSSI’s Advisory Board and Deputy Mayor of Melbourne, Arron Wood took a hands-on approach to understanding homelessness by spending ten days on the streets as part of the SBS documentary series 'Filthy, Rich and Homeless'. Arron's understanding of Australia's homelessness crisis grows noticeably throughout the series, as he becomes familiar with the systemic shortcomings faced by one of Australia's most vulnerable populations, a problem which has been brought into sharper focus by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In this conversation, our Director Brendan Gleeson chats to Arron about Melbourne's homelessness crisis and how his experience with our society's most vulnerable transformed his understanding of the issue.

This viewpoint reinforces MSSI research on the urgent need for more last resort housing, due to the scale of homelessness which is currently at emergency levels.  Almost 25,000 Victorians are sleeping rough on any given night, an increase of more than 70% in the last few years.