Heat maps reveal homelessness

Rhonda Collins Photo: Damjan Janevski 212223_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Homelessness heat maps released last week revealed more than 1400 people don’t have a stable home across Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay.

It comes as Altona-based homelessness service, Latitude, reveals fears that many will be worse off after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heat maps show the federal electorates covering most of Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong have 1400 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness (Gellibrand has 800 and Maribyrnong 600).

Across these electorates, there is a social housing shortfall of 6800 dwellings.

The heat maps were created by Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home as part of a campaign urging people to lobby their federal MPs for more social housing.

Latitude general manager Rhonda Collins said her organisation had helped about 200 people so far this year.

“Initially, when the first lockdown happened there was a lot of confusion, which I think was in line with the rest of the community,” she said.

“We spent an awful lot of time talking to our young people … a lot of services have gone online or are phone-based, so not a lot of face-to-face is occurring, which can be very challenging for our young people because they will have additional issues.

“We had all of that panic buying so there was a huge demand on material aid, so food parcels.”

Ms Collins said her organisation had been able to help more people access private rental accommodation because it had become more affordable than before the pandemic.

“We’ve actually had quite a bit of success getting young people into private rental,” she said.

“Our concern will be, how sustainable is that going to be post pandemic?”