Homelessness in the City of Melville

Is homelessness increasing? 

Yes, homelessness is increasing cross Australia, and the City of Melville is no exception.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 0.14% of Melville’s population is homeless, compared with the national average of 0.49%.  This means 134 people in Melville are classified as homeless (ABS 2011 Census).


Are there different types of homelessness?

Yes, people who identify as homeless include those who may be in overcrowded and shared housing, temporary lodging houses, couch surfing, as well as rough sleepers.  “Rough sleepers” often sleep in parks or doorways, keeping their belongings with them, and are the most visible homeless people in our community.

What are the causes of homelessness?

There are numerous causes of homelessness including relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, mental health issues, and family violence.  It is rarely a lifestyle choice, rather it is the result of a combination of personal and situational factors, including a lack of low cost flexible suitable accommodation options in appropriate locations.

What entitlements and rights do people who identify as homeless have? 

People who identify as homeless have the same entitlements as other members of the community to be in a public place, as long as they respect the right of local communities to live in a safe and peaceful environment.   People who identify as homeless have the same rights to access all City of Melville services, facilities and spaces, as long as they respect these services, facilities and spaces, our employees, and members of the public.

Does the City of Melville provide services to people who identify as homeless?

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The City of Melville does not directly provide services to people who identify as homeless.  Contact is often occasional and ad hoc, with Rangers, Community Safety Service officers, or outdoors staff being most likely to interact with people who are rough sleepers. 

What can be done to assist people who identify as homeless?

In the first instance, the person has to indicate a willingness to seek assistance and to follow through on proposed actions, such as making contact with organisation(s) that provide support

Support Services

1. Crisis Care - a telephone information and counselling service that operates 24 hours, 7 days a week, for people in crisis needing urgent help.

Telephone (08) 9223 1111 

1800 199 008 (country free call) 

Crisis Care can be accessed through the translating and interpreting service on 13 14 50.

Crisis Care can assist when someone needs help to sort out a serious problem, is concerned about the wellbeing of a child, is escaping domestic violence, is homeless, and/or needs counselling, information or other support. 


2.  Entry Point – free assessment and referral service for homeless people

Open Mon – Fri 9 am – 7 pm

Saturday 9 am – 5 pm

Ph 1800 124 684  or  6496 0001

For individuals and families based in Perth, the service offers assessment of  individual circumstances on the phone or in person. The service can:

  • provide individuals with information on accommodation and support options to increase their chances of securing accommodation
  • if eligible, provide formal referrals to specialist homelessness services and other accommodation or support options
  • set up a time for an assessment and then refer to the most eligible appropriate services
  • assess individual circumstances of people and families experiencing domestic violence and, if eligible, provide formal referrals to crisis accommodation and support options


3. WA Housing Hub - run by Shelter WA, and provides information and a list of crisis care accommodation options


4. Ask Izzy helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find the services they need, including housing, right now and nearby.


5. St Pat’s Fremantle- 12 Queen Victoria Street Fremantle – 9430 4159

provides free breakfast and showers, low cost $5 lunches. Free fruit and vegetables daily at 10.30 am.

6.  Red Cross Soup Patrol Fremantle

Ph 9225 8888

Free evening meal - every day.

Pioneer Park (Phillimore St near corner Market St)   6.30 pm

Ellen St (opposite Christian Brothers College)           6.45 pm

100 Hampton Rd (in the car bays)                             7.00 pm

7. Orange Sky Laundry Fremantle

Free mobile laundry service for homeless people.


7.30 – 10.30 am                     St Pat’s 12 Queen Victoria St

4.30 – 7.00 pm                        Pioneer Park


2.00 – 5.00 pm                        South Beach, Wilson Park

What can be done if someone is camping at my local park?

Please ring our Customer Services Team on 1300 635 845 and the information will be passed to our Duty Ranger for investigation.  After hours, please ring our Community Safety Service on 1300 653 643.

What can be done if there is evidence of anti-social or illegal behaviour?

There are a number of options, depending on the particular situation.  However anti-social and illegal behaviour should be reported to the Police.

Local Policing Teams (LPTs) are based out of local police stations in Palmyra and Murdoch, and their role is to work with the community to address issues before they escalate and require police attendance.  It is worth contacting your LPT to discuss any ongoing issues as a result of the behaviour of homeless people.  The contact number for LPTs depends on the suburb where the issue is occurring.  The numbers for your LPT can be found at  www.police.wa.gov.au and then clicking on “local policing teams” and entering your suburb.   

The LPTs work rostered hours so do not contact them for emergency calls or to request police attendance.  If they are unavailable you can leave a message and they will return your call.

131 444 – for police assistance or attendance and when it is not an emergency e.g.

•           reporting a disturbance or breach of the peace (antisocial behaviour);

•           reporting something which has happened in the past;

•           reporting a property-related incident for insurance purposes.

000 - in an emergency or life-threatening situation, when urgent police assistance is needed, e.g.

•           a serious crime is in progress, being witnessed or just committed;

•           any situation where life or serious injury is threatened; or

•           any incident which poses an immediate threat of danger to people or property. 

Other links –