When the battered body of 25-year-old Courtney Herron was found in Royal Park in Melbourne on Saturday, May 25, it was not the first time a homeless person had been killed in Melbourne. But, as with the Jill Meagher murder in 2012, this particular case has shocked the community and, according to informed sources, rattled the Victorian government.
Courtney Herron had been couch-surfing and sleeping rough. She was experiencing mental health issues and trying to deal with drug addiction. Her shocking death, an act of violence against a young woman, reminds us of the vulnerability of rough sleeping, and the disturbing and continuing reality of youth homelessness.
Some advocates are calling for a renewed focus on rough sleeping and more crisis accommodation in the major cities where homeless people are most visible. Such advocacy is well-intentioned but deeply misguided.
Read the full article on The Conversation.