A collaborative project at the Salvation Army on Bourke St has built personal mailboxes and storage facilities for Melbourne’s homeless.
The initiative was led by Salvation Army, the Collingwood Football Club, Australia Post and the City of Melbourne (CoM) – resulting in 171 personal mailboxes and more than 150 storage boxes.
The previous storage facilities at the space were limited and at capacity, and mail could only be received via a single PO Box.
The new facilities were opened by Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, Collingwood FC CEO Mark Anderson and the Salvation Army Melbourne Project’s Major Brendan Nottle.
Christine Holgate said the joint initiative was an opportunity to give people without a fixed address the chance to reconnect with society.
“Personal onsite mailboxes enable people in special circumstances to re-establish connections with family and friends, government and financial services, and accommodation, in a safe and secure space,” she said.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the project was an example of how government and the private sector can work together with agencies to support people who are homeless or sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne.
“Many people don’t realise how difficult it is to connect with services like Centrelink and Medicare if you don’t have a fixed address when filling out the paper work,” the Lord Mayor said
“A personal mailbox is a simple way of helping people reconnect with society.”
CoM’s Deputy Lord Mayor Aaron Wood and “people city” chair Beverley Pinder were at the opening.
“Regardless of an individual’s heartbreaking circumstances, dignity and respect is what each of us needs,” Cr Pinder said.
“Storage lockers and mailboxes are practical solutions to the very real issues faced by some of our most vulnerable people sleeping on our streets, and their precious worldly goods and Centrelink notices are two key elements that this initiative delivers on.”