Many people query the need for "emergency relief" in the City of Monash as it is regarded as an affluent area. Monash has always been a "two part" region--i.e., the prosperous East is centred around Glen Waverley, Mt Waverley and parts of East Burwood and Mulgrave. The western section, where the old industrial areas were, is substantially less prosperous.
The Clayton/Oakleigh/Ashburton area hosts many Ministry of Housing units. In addition, there are pockets of disadvantage throughout this municipality. Monash has the highest number of boarding houses in Victoria scattered in both affluent and more modest surroundings. Public housing tenants pay at least 25% of their income. Applicants for public housing wait, on average, 10 years for a place. Boarding house tenants pay anything from $180 to $280 per week for one room. Generally, these are ordinary suburban houses which are let room by room. Many share bathrooms and kitchens. Some provide a limited number of meals.
A growing phenomenon in our area is that of homelessness, including sleeping rough and couch surfing. We provide food parcels and some vouchers as well as referrals to other services.
The Salvation Army has 180 houses for emergency and transitional accommodation for families, and these often serve single mothers and their children. Rents are especially high in the Monash area which leaves little money to pay for food and other essentials. Some of our newer clients are housed in the Port Phillip Housing Authority's Gateway development in Ashwood and the Youth Foyer near Holmesglen. Gateway is a mixture of public and private housing. The Youth Foyer is a program for disadvantaged youth and accommodates them while they are studying and training for work. It has accommodation for 40 young people, many of whom have been in State care and would otherwise have become homeless. The families we are seeing seem to have a real sense of community.