Ozanam House supporting housing needs of LGBTIQA+ Victorians

Ozanam House supporting housing needs of LGBTIQA+ Victorians

North Melbourne's Ozanam House is at the heart of the Victorian Government initiative “Pride in Place”, which is supporting more than 570 LGBTIQA+ individuals across the state with access to safe and inclusive housing assistance.

On March 26, Minister for Housing and Equality Harriet Shing visited the not-for-profit accommodation and homelessness resource centre located at VincentCare on Flemington Rd to witness firsthand the positive impact of the program.

Ms Shing praised the organisation for providing a space where at-risk LGBTIQA+ Victorians could “get the support they need – whether that’s housing, crisis accommodation or financial support”.

Led by VincentCare and Drummond Street Queerspace Services in partnership with Family Access Network and Uniting.Vic.Tas, the Pride in Place program currently operates right across Victoria.

“VincentCare believes equality, safety and respect are not negotiable and is proud to co-lead the Pride in Place consortium, which we know helps LGBTIQA+ community access housing in a safe and respectful way,” CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Group, Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald AM said.

A $3 million commitment from the state government in 2022 which supports the program aims to address the heightened risk of homelessness among LGBTIQA+ individuals, who are twice as likely to be at risk of or experience homelessness.

Ozanam House has since been able to deliver a range of support services, including crisis accommodation, rental assistance, and tailored accommodation packages, meeting the diverse needs of its residents.

“Pride in Place has enabled Queerspace Drummond Street Services to provide vital support to LGBTIQA+ folk with multiple intersecting identities in the housing sector where we know they are disproportionately disadvantaged,” CEO of Drummond Street Services Karen Field said.

As part of the government's 10-year strategy, Pride in our future: Victoria's LGBTIQA+ Strategy 2022-2032, Pride in Place has not only directly assisted individuals in need, but has also engaged with broader homelessness services to offer consultations and training to 50 non-LGBTIQA+ organisations.

“Having safe, affirming support from staff and homelessness services who understand the nuances of being a member of the LGBTIQA+ community is vital to ensuring LGBTIQA+ Victorians can live an authentic and full life,” Ms Shing said.

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