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Some good news. The program that is sheltering homeless Victorians has been extended until April next year. Around 7,000 people who were given shelter when the pandemic started will now have a home until at least April 2021. There are calls for the program to be made permanent.
Social workers have reported that an added benefit for their clients is that they can be contacted more easily, and they can make faster progress in addressing their problems. Previously welfare workers could spend months just trying to locate their clients. One advocate to make the system permanent, Bevan Warner said, ‘It costs more in police call-outs, and having doctors and nurses treat people in emergency wards, than it does to provide people with a home.’
His comments are backed by a 2015 University of Queensland study that calculated savings of more than $13,000 a year for every homeless person who is taken off the streets.
Overnight Victoria added 397 cases of COVID-19 to the tally. About half the number we peaked at this week. There were 25,501 tests conducted, so that’s around 1.5 percent that were positive, which is much better than the 3.5 percent high we had this week.