People sleeping rough in Bendigo are getting access to the support they need thanks to a team of outreach workers that is paying regular visits to homeless hotspots.

February marks one year since the Haven; Home, Safe assertive outreach team commenced work in Bendigo. During this time workers have helped more than 160 people experiencing homelessness by providing tailored and targeted support and helping them to engage with emergency accommodation and ongoing assistance. The age of people assisted ranged from 21 to 75.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne today visited the outreach team in Bendigo, which provides a mobile service – the HeyVan – to people sleeping rough in the city. Minister Wynne said the outreach teams had increased their reach, effectiveness and impact of homelessness in Greater Bendigo.

The outreach teams actively seek out people who homelessness services have not previously been able to help. They support people who are chronically homeless or sleeping rough, build up a trusted connection and help them get access to the housing and support services they need.

Of the people who have met with the outreach teams in Bendigo, 17 people who were previously sleeping rough have obtained long-term housing and 14 people have been reunited with family.

There are seven assertive outreach teams in place across the state. They are part of the Victorian Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan, which includes more than $45 million in projects to help break the cycle of homelessness.