Helping the homeless

By Sean Car

Our homeless received a boost on June 16 as the redeveloped Youth Projects Living Room on Hosier Lane was officially reopened for service.

In what has become an inner-city sanctuary for Melbourne’s homeless community over the past 15 years, the facility has been given a badly-needed face-lift in an effort to accommodate increased demand.

The Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Mental Health, Equality and Creative Industries Martin Foley joined Youth Projects chair Melanie Raymond to cut the ribbon at the new state-of-the-art facility.

The new-look facility gives the homeless access to healthy food, showers, laundry services, GPs and nurses, podiatrists and mental health services and includes a new life skills centre to boost the transition from homelessness into housing.

It also features a new training kitchen for clients to learn to prepare healthy food, provides access to computers and storage lockers as well as safe living spaces for art therapy and relaxing with others.

Ms Raymond said the upgraded facilities provided her organisation with a major boost in its efforts to decrease the number of people sleeping rough.

“Melbourne’s homeless are missing out on everyday life experiences and amenities that we can take for granted,” she said.

“There is no other charity that provides all these services under the one roof and a space where the homeless are welcome to spend some time just relaxing in a supportive and friendly environment.”

The redevelopment was funded by sponsors Hickory Constructions, Elenberg Fraser architects, The Good Guys and the Rotary Club of Melbourne.

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