Many more rough sleepers

The 2016 StreetCount has found nearly twice as many rough sleepers in inner-Melbourne than two years ago.

In 2014, a small army of volunteers recorded 142 people sleeping rough at this time of the year.  On June 7 this year, the exercise was repeated and 247 people were found.

The City of Melbourne won’t say how many of these were located in the CBD.  In 2012, the percentage of rough sleepers in the CBD was 60 per cent of the total number.

The area of study covers most of North Melbourne to Flemington Rd, west to Docklands, south to Southbank Promenade and a small part of East Melbourne, including Fitzroy Gardens.

The count was conducted by 160 volunteers, in conjunction with Launch Housing and the Salvation Army.

The teams of volunteers located 184 people sleeping in parks, streets and squats between 4.30am and 8.30am on June 7. Surveys of 63 people who slept rough were also undertaken at day centres between approximately 9am and 1pm.

Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • 195 men and 35 women were counted sleeping rough. 17 could not be identified;
  • Most people were aged between 26 and 60 years of age; and
  • Of those surveyed, 68 per cent had been homeless for more than a year.

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