6 tips for better Christmas giving

Make a real difference this festive season to help people find pathways out of homelessness.

Homelessness is a sensitive, complex and confronting issue that can affect anyone at any point in their lives. This issue is a priority for our city, and many caring Melburnians want to help.

To harness this goodwill, we are uniting Melbourne’s corporate and property sectors, philanthropists, charities and local governments to build more accommodation for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Working together, the group will find, assess and redevelop suitable buildings to deliver more beds, with the health and support services required to build pathways into secure housing.

Individual and corporate supporters will soon be able to donate to support this initiative through a new tax-deductible giving account managed by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, one of Melbourne’s independent community foundations.

In the meantime, here are six practical ways you can help people experiencing homelessness. Everyone can make a difference.

1. Donate money or goods to one of our partners
We partner with a range of great organisations that provide both immediate help – from meals to upcycled sneakers – and the crucial, long-term support people need to exit homelessness.

Here are some of our key partners, who would love your support: Anglicare VicThe Big IssueLaunch Housing, Melbourne City MissionThe Salvation Army, Sneaker LaundryVincentcare and Youth Projects.

2. Read all about it
Support someone individually by buying a copy of The Big Issue magazine or The Big Issue calendar from a street vendor.

3. Volunteer your time
Fundraise or volunteer for a homelessness support organisation such as Launch Housing, Melbourne City Mission, The Big Issue, or through Volunteering Victoria.

4. Say hello
Treat people without homes as you would a friend or a colleague. A smile or a chat is free and it goes a long way. People who are experiencing homelessness often say they feel invisible and unwanted. So take the time to have a chat.

5. Put your property to good use
Make a donation from the sale of your home to increase the supply of affordable dwellings through the Homes for Homes program, or rent out your investment property at a discounted rate to people in need through HomeGround Real Estate. Both options are tax deductible.

6. Stay in touch
Sign up to stay informed about what we’re doing to support people experiencing homelessness, and how you can help.

To find out more, visit Homelessness.

You can also view our Helping Out booklet, which lists more than 70 local services that help people experiencing homelessness.

More information about homelessness and its causes is available on the Council to Homeless Persons website.