What is Homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula?

24th August 2022

First of three free public community forums to empower and drive solutions.

What is Homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula?

Over 250 members of our community joined Peninsula Voice and Ben Smith from the Mornington Information and Community Support Centre on a fast-moving evening of interviews with front line workers, people with lived experience of homelessness, and some very telling local statistics about homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula.


An expert panel shared their stories from the frontline and we also interviewed two local people who shared their first-hand knowledge and experience of homelessness. Their stories were moving and challenging.

The members of the expert panels were:

  • Laura Sutton (Western Port Community Support)
  • Kara Van der Heyde (Southern Peninsula Community Support)
  • Bill Faulkner (Bolton Clarke)
  • Gemma Bell (Fusion Mornington Peninsula)
  • Roz Franklin (Shire of Mornington Peninsula)
  • Darren Rooth (Salvation Army)

Some key messages from the forum:

  • Homelessness has reached crisis point on the Mornington Peninsula. Anyone under 55 years of age on the priority list for the housing register now has an ‘indefinite’ wait, which translates to between 15 and 20 years.
  • There are more people now experiencing homelessness who have a positive rental history but simply can’t find anywhere affordable to rent, forcing them to move away from their social network and health providers.
  • There’s also a big rise in young women seeking accommodation because they’re escaping family violence.
  • Local responses to this challenge are having an impact but resourcing is extremely limited.
  • Stable accommodation can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health, capacity to stay off drugs and alcohol and find work.


Our very special thanks to our exceptionally talented Ukrainian musician Valerie Ozeman, who warmed up the hall up with lively music to welcome in attendees.

Peninsula Voice would also like to acknowledge and thank our event partners:

Mornington Information and Community Support Centre

Bendigo Community Bank Mt Martha

Secret Garden Florists

William Warrain Aboriginal Association


Ed Wischer Productions

Western Port Community Support

Southern Peninsula Community Support

Bolton Clarke

Fusion Mornington Peninsula

Shire of Mornington Peninsula

Salvation Army

Mornington Neighbourhood Church of Christ


Mount Martha Rotary Club





Great videos that show some dimensions of the problem of homelessness:

  • Our media partner Ed Wischer Productions recorded the forum and the video can be found here soon
  • The presentation on Homleness Statistics shown by Ben Smith on the night can be found by a Click Here 
  • The Affordable Housing Partnership created a short video of a local resident showing how family violence can directly lead to homelessness. This video was shown at the Forum and can be found by a Click Here 
  • Sue Thomson directed this documentary on the emerging issue of homelessness in over 55 women. It was shown at the Melbourne International Film Festival. A 2-minute trailer can be found by a Click Here
  • A report in the Mornington Peninsula News can be found by a  Click Here