On The Streets
You can be on the streets physically but not prepared psychologically, so it can be a confronting, confusing and a harsh place for people who have not experienced it before. Some people become acclimatized very quickly and others never do. Being on your own, maybe for the first time in your life, and not knowing what to do and where to go and having no emotional support, with friends and family hard to find, can leave you vulnerable, a target for others who know the ropes and open to things that you might not normally think of doing. You will find yourself confronted with mutable issues and concerns that may seem out of your control. Not being able to get your head down for less then a few hours at night, poor diet, and the stress of it all can wear you down and if you are drinking or using drugs you will no doubt be having a few financial problems as well and the situation might seem hopeless.
There is a code of conduct with unwritten laws which you will encounter both on the streets and in all crisis accommodation. If you are sleeping out for the first time stay away from squats: they are not for the faint hearted, and they are not a good place to try and cut your teeth on. Inner city parks are treacherous places, as are train stations, bus stations and tram sheds. The suburbs might be a bit tamer. If you have to leave your bag or belongings during the day, hide them somewhere safe and don't tell anyone else. Try to stay off the radar and be careful who you hook up with and keep your nose clean if you can.
There is help available and there are services with people who do care about your situation and who will treat you with dignity and respect. You are not just a statistic: you are a human being.
Helpfull First Contacts
Crisis accommodation info line
1800 627 727(10am to midnight 7 days)
Argyle Street Housing Service/Homeground Services
Help with crisis and transitional accommodation
Public and community housing
Private rental and share accommodation
Information about support services
Help with your accommodation problems, drop in service
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
122 Chapel St
St KILDA EAST Ph: 03 9537 7797
2/107 Cambridge St
COLLINGWOOD Ph: 03 9417 2500
2nd floor 169 Swanston st Melbourne, Ph: 9654 2600
Will provide emergency assistance with travel arrangements and costs.