The Commonwealth and Victorian governments will launch a new meals program for older homeless people in Melbourne.

The $900,000 Home and Community Care (HACC) service will provide 43,000 extra meals in the city’s inner suburbs, along with 11,000 hours of social support for vulnerable people.

The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot made the announcement on a visit to Wintringham’s McLean Lodge in Flemington. Most of the residents in the 20-bed aged care facility have been homeless themselves.

Mrs Elliot also used the visit to confirm the government’s commitment to improving services for older, homeless people.

Late last year the government released a white paper on homelessness which recognised the need for additional aged care support for disadvantaged older people.

In the paper the government committed to making homelessness a ‘special needs’ group under the aged care principles.

Under the new homelessness initiative, there are also plans to allocate specific beds for homeless people in future aged care approvals rounds.

And capital funding will be made available for at least one new facility for older homeless people for the next four years.

These aged care initiatives are part of a larger plan to halve homelessness in Australia by 2020.

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