Melbourne’s most vulnerable community members will benefit from new personal mailboxes and storage facilities at The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 on Bourke Street, thanks to an initiative led by Australia Post, the Collingwood Football Club and the City of Melbourne.
The group investment will provide access to 171 personal mailboxes and more than 150 storage boxes so that people sleeping rough have a place to store their personal belongings and send and receive mail.
Previously, storage facilities at The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 were limited and at capacity, and mail deliveries for people without a fixed address could only be received via a single PO Box at a nearby Post Office.
Australia Post Group chief executive officer and managing director Christine Holgate said the joint initiative is an opportunity to give people without a fixed address the chance to reconnect with society: “We are pleased to help The Salvation Army provide this service and assist people who need our help the most.”
She continued, “Personal on-site mailboxes enable people in special circumstances to re-establish connections with family and friends, government and financial services, and accommodation, in a safe and secure place.
“The expanded storage facilities also allow people to securely store all of their personal belongings, including sentimental items, such as family photos. For all members of our community, feeling safe and connected is really important.”
According to Lord Mayor Sally Capp, the project is an example of how government and the private sector can work together with agencies to support people who are homeless or sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne. “Many people don’t realize how difficult it is to connect with services like Centrelink and Medicare if you don’t have a fixed address when filling out the paperwork. A personal mailbox is a simple way of helping people reconnect with society,” she said.
“For someone who is experiencing homelessness or sleeping rough on the streets, there is often nowhere to store their personal belongings, which often can mean people are left with no choice but to leave items on the street where they’re at risk of being stolen or collected with rubbish.”
The initiative is part of the group’s ongoing efforts to help the most vulnerable members of Melbourne’s community.