Homelessness worry in Moorabool

HOMELESSNESS is a hidden issue in the area, says a Moorabool councillor.

Moorabool Council does not keep records of homelessness. The previous Census revealed that 321 people were homeless in the Bacchus Marsh and Melton area. They included 48 people living in caravan parks and 91 in accommodation especially tailored for the homeless. Almost 150 were living in “severely crowded dwellings” on Census night 2011.

Cr Tonia Dudzik says those statistics aren’t a complete indicator of homelessness in the area.

“Homelessness is a hidden issue,” she said.

“There is a culture of couch-surfing that many teenage homeless are caught up in. Only last week I heard about a 17-year-old girl with a baby who is homeless in Bacchus Marsh.”

Census stats showed 66 people were “staying temporarily with other households”.

Cr Dudzik said churches, organisations like The Neighbours Place and council’s community and family services provided valuable assistance to those in need.