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Blessing Bags would like to acknowledge the many sacred lands and waterways we work on. While our work is predominantly on Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung lands, we know our bags travel far and wide across the many traditional lands in what we now call Victoria.


We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and that First Nations people are shamefully over-represented in the population of those experiencing homelessness, and accessing homelessness services in Victoria.


Our aims to help those experiencing homelessness and provide meaningful change naturally extends to joining the struggle for true and meaningful reconciliation with our First Nations peoples. This was and always will be Aboriginal land.


A snapshot of homelessness

On any given night in Australia, over 122,000 people experience homelessness (Homelessness Australia, 2023). This problem is often hidden from public view - while 6.2% percent of people experiencing homelessness sleep rough, most endure homelessness in less visible ways, relying on crisis accommodation, couchsurfing, overcrowded, or insecure housing, or rooming houses (HA, 2023).


This crisis is on the rise across the nation, primarily due to the escalating cost of living (UNSW, 2022). 52% of those seeking assistance attribute their situation to financial and housing affordability issues (HA, 2023). As living expenses surge, the dream of a stable home becomes increasingly elusive for many.


Violence, including family violence, continues to contribute to a growing homelessness problem. 28% of those accessing services cite violence, including family violence, as a key factor behind their homelessness (HA, 2023). People should live free from violence and abuse. Much-needed action to reduce family violence in Victoria will also help to tackle homelessness.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are vastly overrepresented in homelessness figures, making up one in five people experiencing homelessness (HA, 2023). Blessing Bags calls for urgent, decisive action to address this injustice.


As these figures show, homelessness and disadvantage continue to affect Australians to an unacceptable degree. We will continue to advocate for compassionate, evidence-based policy aimed at ending homelessness, and will aim to reach even more people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage with our services in 2024.

Homelessness Australia. (2023) Homelessness Facts 2023, accessed 27 October 2023.


Pawson H and Parsell C (2022) Homeless numbers have jumped since COVID housing efforts ended – and the problem is spreading beyond the big cities, UNSW, accessed 27 October 2023.

Our impact

With the help of volunteers at our Community Days and our school outreach program, we made and distributed a total of 1,313 blessing bags in the year ending 30 June 2023. This takes our grand total to 15,243 blessing bags distributed since 2015.

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This year, we focused our efforts into further refining and developing our school outreach program. Through consultation with educators, we were able to develop a primary and secondary program, made up of a range of learning activities and workshop options. Our understanding that schools need flexibility formed the basis for the way we structured these programs, allowing schools to tailor their involvement to their students’ needs and school resources.


Schools can opt to engage in a number of ways including:

  • Running an items donation drive;

  • Packing hygiene items into blessing bags; and

  • Writing/decorating notes for our blessing bags


Collectively, the school outreach program contributed to 914 blessing bags. We really enjoyed partnering with the following schools this year:

  • St Macartan’s Primary School, Mornington

  • Cornish College, Bangholme

  • Bayside Christian College, Langwarrin

  • Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows

  • Catholic Ladies College, Eltham


The response we’ve received from schools so far has been really encouraging. We are hoping to continue to develop a range of resources schools can access online, in addition to the in-person learning activities we provide. Additionally, this coming year we will start to develop monitoring and evaluation tools to help assess our school outreach program.


We are excited to continue our work in schools across Victoria.


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On the 22nd of October, we held our main fundraising event the Amazing Race 2.0. it was a fun-filled event with over 40 participants. We were able to raise $1,152 after expenses.


From the 1st, January, 2023, Jack ran 50 consecutive marathons in 50 days. We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support this campaign received from the wider community, raising a staggering $20,000 for our organisation.


We were fortunate enough to be invited to Nepean Special School’s Fun Day on the 25th of March where we ran the sausage sizzle for the event and raised $1,005.


In April, Blessing Bags Melbourne successfully applied for Australia Post’s ‘People of Post’ Grant and received $1,000.


Throughout the month of May, we partnered with Grill’d and participated in their Local Matters initiative. This initiative raised $300 for our organisation.


For the first time since 2020, we have had the capacity to assign fundraising as a portfolio to one of our amazing team members. From June, Sarah Jones has stepped into the role of fundraising co-ordinator; scoping fundraising opportunities and organising events including managing community and partner engagement.


Blessing Bags Melbourne wishes to thank all of our partnerships, volunteers, supporting schools and subscribers in helping to increase our profile to make a real impact on the lives of so many men, women and children less fortunate than ourselves.

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