Homeless camp crackdown won’t fix the problem, state government’s new adviser warns – The Age

Extract from an article by Farah Tomazin

Melbourne City Council’s crackdown on CBD homeless camps won’t fix the problem, and could even worsen the “already perilous” state of highly vulnerable people, according to the Andrews government’s new adviser on rough sleeping.

Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson has also warned against setting national targets to reduce homelessness – describing them as superficial “distractions” – and has urged homeless services to scale back support such as mobile showers and all-night cafes, because they entrenched homelessness.

Less than a fortnight after police removed a makeshift camp outside Flinders Street station, the man handpicked by the government to co-ordinate a long term solution has criticised the decision. “If you look at all the big cities around the world, passing laws such as those flagged by the City of Melbourne won’t reduce rough sleeping,” Mr Nicholson said.

“It may change the way it is manifest and it is likely to shift its location, but it will do nothing to change the number of people who are rough sleeping. It just risks exacerbating the already perilous circumstances of highly vulnerable people.”..(continues)

SOURCE: Farah Tomazin, “Homeless camp crackdown won’t fix the problem, state government’s new adviser warns”, The Age, 10 Feb 2017

Link to full article

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