City of Yarra Councillors and staff joined local community groups and service providers last night to officially launch ‘Yarra Zero’ – a collaborative initiative addressing homelessness and rough sleeping in the municipality.
Delivered in partnership with Launch Housing and cohealth, Council says the Yarra Zero project brings local service providers together to provide a coordinated and compassionate response to people who are sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness.
Yarra Deputy Mayor, Edward Crossland said it was important that the City was a welcoming place where everyone should feel empowered, safe and included regardless of their background or personal circumstances.
“As part of our Council Plan, we are committed to delivering a coordinated and compassionate response to people experiencing homelessness and ensuring everyone in Yarra has equitable access and opportunities to participate in community life,” he said.
“Homelessness affects the entire community, and it requires a sensitive, whole-of-community response. Yarra is working closely with service providers, neighbouring councils and other levels of government to support the rights of all its citizens to safe, secure and stable housing.”
As part of the Yarra Zero project, local partners from the housing, health and legal sectors have begun collaborating to get to know each person sleeping rough in their area by name, understand their needs and support them to find and sustain housing with the ultimate aim of reaching functional zero homelessness in the area.
“In its most basic form, functional zero is the point when more people are moving into permanent housing than experiencing primary homelessness. This would mean we are able to prevent homelessness where possible, and ensure that when it does occur, it is addressed quickly,” Council said in a statement.
“Yarra City Council recognises that access to housing is a universal human right and an essential base from which people build their lives. It is also integral to an inclusive, dynamic and sustainable city.”
Guided by its Homelessness Strategy, the Council says it is strongly committed to improving outcomes for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the municipality and working to prevent homelessness in all its forms.