Do you see our invisible homeless people?

You may be surprised to hear that just 7% of homeless people sleep on the streets.
You see, homelessness is a huge problem, and it’s often hidden. Actually 93% of people who are homeless are what our industry calls ‘invisible’.

Let’s talk about the phrase ‘Invisible Homelessness’ because I’m often asked what it means.
Invisible Homelessness describes people who are staying in crisis accommodation, boarding houses and rooming houses.
They’re the women and young people who couch surf between relatives’ and friends’ homes.
They’re the families living in their cars because they have nowhere else to live.

What do people experiencing invisible homelessness need, and where can they get help?
I’m glad you asked. Every day, hundreds of homeless Melburnians come to St Mary’s House of Welcome in Fitzroy, seeking food and shelter, because they have nowhere else to go. After 60 years providing support to homeless people in Melbourne, we can tell you exactly what they need.

Today, and to survive Melbourne’s winter, people need:
• emergency relief and mental health support
• free showers, towels and toiletries
• hot meals and warming tea and coffee
• a safe, dry place to be in bad weather
• access to computers to sort out forms and financial aid

Long term, to be released from invisibility, people need:
• help to find permanent housing
• ongoing mental health support
• legal help, and advocacy to get out of poverty
• a sense of community and belonging
• respect, and a friendly ear to listen

With winter upon us again, St Mary’s House of Welcome needs your help.
St Mary’s resources are stretched as we provide hundreds of extra meals and emergency relief throughout winter. So, what can you do to help?

We’re asking you, on behalf of the invisible homeless people of Melbourne, to make a donation to St Mary’s House of Welcome today.
$25 gives someone a hot shower every day for a week
$50 shouts someone a hot meal for 10 days
$150 provides one person with a weeks’ worth of meals, showers and clean socks and underwear at St Mary’s
$500 helps stock our emergency relief stores over winter

Your donation to St Mary’s shows that although they are called ‘invisible’, these members of our community are not forgotten and we see them. Your donation shows that you really care and see them too.

*ABS Census, 2016

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