World Homeless Day October 10

World Homeless Day is marked globally on October 10. The day provides an opportunity to bring to light and raise more of an understanding of the broad experiences of people who experience homelessness throughout the world and, in particular, the issues and needs at a local level.

Unison is the largest provider of homelessness services in Melbourne’s West. Our team works tirelessly to assist over 3,000 households every year, most of whom were homeless on first presentation. We experience daily, the extent of the homelessness crisis.

Homelessness can be the result of many social, economic and individual factors. But we know that the shortage of affordable housing is a critical factor.

In fact, we believe that the single, most important factor in preventing and solving homelessness is increasing the supply of social housing.

There are many myths and misunderstandings around homelessness.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people who experience homelessness aren’t rough sleepers (living on the streets). In fact, rough sleeping only makes up around 7% of homelessness while the remainder is ‘hidden homelessness’, that is, people sleeping in cars, rooming houses, couch surfing, or staying in other temporary types of accommodation.  

This is one of the many myths we debunk in a video series with Professor Guy Johnson.

Professor Guy Johnson is the Director of the Unison Housing Research Lab and Australia’s first professor of homelessness and housing. In collaboration with RMIT, Unison is undertaking critical research to inform housing and homelessness best practice and policy. It is the largest program of its kind in Australia.

We recently interviewed Professor Johnson, to unpack this complex subject.  

We hope you find this series interesting and informative and invite you to share it with the people around you, and join the collective effort to raise awareness of homelessness in Australia. 

“We have got to understand homelessness is something that is driven not by individual characteristics but is something that is structured in to the way we set up our housing markets and design our welfare systems. In short, we can do better.”

Professor Guy Johnson




If you are currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Melbourne's west, please call our team on the following numbers, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

  • Call (03) 9689 2777 to talk to our team in Seddon
  • Call (03) 9216 0300 to talk to our team in Werribee


If you need assistance outside of these hours or of this area, please call the Victorian Statewide Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955 (free call, open 24/7) to be connected with an Access Point in your area.

Women experiencing family violence can call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 (free call, open 24/7) and speak confidentially to another woman for information on family violence support services, legal rights and accommodation options.

If you have been threatened or you are fearful for yourself, a child or a family member – call 000.

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