How to help local people in need this Christmas

A person walking on a sidewalk in front of a mural that reads "Good".

Stop by our gift-wrapping station at 239 Bourke Street while you’re Christmas shopping or donate to Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to help people experiencing homelessness this festive season. 

We’ve set a record fundraising goal of $60,000 for our 2021 Good Giving Christmas campaign, which runs until 30 December.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Melbourne is a caring city, and our community will do whatever they can to support those doing it tough.

‘A donation to the Good Giving Christmas campaign will provide those experiencing homelessness with essential services, as well as the long-term support they need to find safe and secure housing,’ the Lord Mayor said.

‘All Melburnians deserve access to safe and affordable housing, which is why we’re committed to making room for people experiencing homelessness in the city and supporting organisations doing the same.

‘We’ve already secured $10 million for our $20 million Make Room initiative, which will provide support to some of Melbourne’s most vulnerable people, and create a new pathway out of homelessness.’

Donations to this year’s Good Giving Christmas campaign will benefit these four programs:

1. primary health service Youth Projects, which offers free healthcare to improve the wellbeing of people who are, or are at risk of experiencing homelessness

2. Justice Connect’s Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project, providing specialised, ongoing legal representation to ensure women and children are safely housed

3. the Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Corporation to assist those looking to overcome the effects of substance misuse, homelessness and family violence

4. the City of Melbourne Make Room initiative, which will see a Council-owned building transformed into 50 studio apartments to provide safe and secure accommodation for those sleeping rough on our streets.

Councillor Dr Olivia Ball, who leads the Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio said, prior to COVID-19, the number of people experiencing homelessness was on the rise, and the challenges of the past 18 months have only exacerbated the situation.

‘In the City of Melbourne alone, around 300 people are experiencing homelessness, including up to 90 people sleeping rough, without a roof over their head,’ Cr Ball said.

‘Now more than ever, we can appreciate the importance of having a safe space to call our own, which is why we’re raising funds for programs and initiatives to help break the cycle of homelessness.’

More ways to help

In addition to supporting our Good Giving Christmas campaign, there are a number of ways you can help people experiencing homelessness this festive season and year-round.

For example, you can dine out at city restaurants participating in the DineSmart giving program, volunteer your time with an established not-for-profit listed on Volunteer Victoria, or deepen your understanding of the causes of homelessness and the current shortfall in affordable housing.

Visit Homelessness – how you can help for more information.

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