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GENERAL REFERRAL INFORMATION:
Some hostels and emergency accommodation agencies do not deal with people who have drug, alcohol or psychiatric problems. Most agencies offering assistance with accommodation for families will also offer assistance to single parent families. It is also common for emergency housing services to have an answering machine system. The caller may have to leave a message and a phone number so that the housing worker can return the call. It is also common for services to have a Duty Worker who is only available during certain hours, making it necessary to phone between specific hours. These factors can mean that it is very hard to get on to a specific service. Read the records for individual agencies carefully as some agencies only offer short (greater than 6 weeks) to long-term accommodation and cannot assist with emergency overnight requests. These agencies often have intake procedures which involve appointments, interviews and assessments.
As a rough guide, agencies listed under this heading as offering an after hours service will normally offer emergency accommodation, or assist with referrals to emergency accommodation. Note, however, that there is very limited crisis/same night accommodation available in Melbourne. Provision of emergency accommodation is not necessarily free. Some services will only provide accommodation until the person next receives a payment, or work from a credit system until payment is received. Some services will only provide accommodation once in a 6 or 12 month period.