Salvation Army Street Teams were introduced on the streets of Melbourne to provide a positive influence at night amongst the party-goers and revellers. The teams move around the CBD and engage with people out for the evening. This initiative has since expanded into other capital cities and has led to the creation of another similar initiative: Salvos Transit Teams.
In November 2012, The Salvation Army launched this innovative project in conjunction with MetroTrains. This unique initiative sees specifically trained volunteers travel the rail network and engage with Metro customers in need of help and care. There are about 80 volunteers that take part, operating from Monday to Saturday and travel the rail network along most lines – focusing on five of the busiest.
Salvation Army Youth Street Teams Coordinator, Lauren Cockerell, said that since the initial deployment of Transit Teams across Metro’s network, there has been a significant increase in the number of people engaging with the programme’s volunteers.
“Many people have presented at The Salvation Army Melbourne for follow-up referral services such as accommodation and homelessness case management,” she said.
To date the Transit Teams programme has found:
- most incidents occur on Friday and Saturday nights
- midweek there has been increased engagement with homeless persons and substance abusers who require support services.