The Living Room re-opens world class centre in Melbourne as homelessness rises nationally Having been at the heart of Melbourne’s CBD community for 20 years, The Living Room has long been highly regarded as a unique and effective primary health service and drop-in centre for people experiencing homelessness since first opening in 2002. It is a service that has created immeasurable social and economic impact, and most importantly, has supported thousands of people during their darkest hours. With homelessness 3 times more prevalent in Melbourne compared to the rest of Victoria (AIHW), rough sleeping in the CBD increasing 42% from 2012 to 2019 (StreetCount, City of Melbourne), and an 11% increase in the number of people directly accessing services at The Living Room in the past 5 years alone, now – more than ever – it’s time to evolve, expand and grow The Living Room. “What is delivered through The Living Room not only makes sense for social return, but so too, a positive economic return. Early intervention and crisis support services like ours alleviates the stresses on our already-overburdened health system and saves the State economy millions of dollars by intervening before someone needs to lean on complex, public systems.” “What we do not only changes but saves lives too. We do it with absolute dignity, without judgement, and with self-determination at the core of our ethos,” says CEO, Ben Vasiliou. Following a major refurbishment of The Living Room late last year, the re-opening signifies a game-changer for homelessness services in Melbourne and will set a new standard for community led health initiatives, globally. The Living Room is already world-class in service delivery, and now the physical environment will match our modern approach. Since re-opening the doors to our health and homelessness services, we’ve experienced a 31% increase in service access and a 72% increase on new people accessing health and homelessness services. The opening of a dedicated new women’s lounge has resulted in a 53% increase in female access to services, and a three-fold increase in referrals to family violence services. The Living Room has evolved into a unique place in the heart of Melbourne that makes people feel welcome and respected, providing access to critical health services, social supports, food and clean clothes, right through to charging mobile phones, taking a shower, washing clothes, and reducing social isolation. For further enquiries or information, please contact Nic Horton (Marketing & Communications Manager) on 0458 911 299 or [email protected].