In a city where the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to rise, the after-hours outreach service provided by Youth Projects' Night Nurses has proven to be a vital lifeline for those sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne.

The dedicated team of healthcare professionals delivers essential health care and welfare checks to individuals facing homelessness, ensuring their well-being and providing a beacon of hope during challenging times.

This after-hours outreach service ventures into the hidden corners of Melbourne’s CBD, reaching out to those most in need, to address a range of critical health concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, wounds, and infections.

Melanie Raymond OAM, Chair of Youth Projects, emphasizes the significance of this service, stating, "It's efficient, it's humane, and it's respectful." Often serving as the first point of contact with any health professional or support worker in days, weeks, or even months for people experiencing homelessness, the Night Nurses play a vital role in early intervention and relieving pressure on the state's health system.

Credit: 9 News Melbourne

Operating five nights a week, the Night Nurses program has become a lifeline for individuals facing homelessness in Melbourne. By focusing on early intervention and follow-ups, these dedicated healthcare professionals ensure that the vulnerable population receives ongoing medical care and support. Their integration with The Living Room—a primary health service in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD —ensures seamless supports for individuals in need of sustained care and assistance. 

Over the past 12 months, the Night Nurses have provided an astounding 3,455 episodes of care, showcasing their dedication to the welfare of Melbourne's homeless population. These numbers shed light on the pressing need for such services, especially considering that more than 1,100 individuals sleep rough on any given night in Victoria.

National Census data further highlights the urgency of this issue, revealing a 5.2% increase in homelessness nationwide between 2016 and 2021. Alarming trends indicating that women and young people are particularly vulnerable, with females accounting for over 80% of those newly experiencing homelessness.

The Night Nurses' tireless efforts and compassionate care offer a glimmer of hope amidst the hardships faced by the homeless population in Melbourne. By providing immediate healthcare assistance, offering ongoing support, and connecting individuals to vital resources, they prove that a dedicated and empathetic approach can make a significant difference in the lives of those most in need.

As the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to grow, the crucial work of the Night Nurses becomes more indispensable than ever. It is a reminder that addressing homelessness requires not only social and economic solutions but also the provision of compassionate, accessible, and responsive healthcare services for all members of society.

You can help us continue delivering this life changing program by donating today.