Working with a transitional housing manager (THM)

It’s important to contact your local Transitional Housing Manager (THM) as soon as you find yourself in, or approaching, a housing crisis. Your THM will then have a better chance of helping you avoid the worst of it.

For long-term housing (such as public housing or private rental), you need to actively work with your local transitional housing manager (THM). Besides helping you solve your immediate housing problems, your THM gives you critical support when you are working out your long-term housing arrangements, whether you are applying for private rental or public housing.

Specifically, in terms of longer term housing options, a THM can help you to:

The reality with THMs
High demand and long waiting lists mean that many people who are eligible still don’t get accommodation.

How does a THM service work?

Transitional housing is managed by the community sector and accessed through a transitional housing manager (THM). There are 19 THM programs run by non-profit and government-funded organisations, providing specialist homelessness support services across Victoria.

Each region has a THM that usually only works with people who currently live in, or whose last permanent address was in, that region. That means that your local THM can allocate transitional housing and refer you to a housing outreach worker only in your local area.

How do I get help from a THM?

It’s best to call first before visiting a THM.

You can ask for help from your local THM if you have a Healthcare Card, you are homeless, or you have been in the private rental market and are facing eviction.

While some THMs work from drop-in centres, it is best to phone your local THM and explain your situation clearly. If you are facing imminent homelessness, ask for an emergency appointment. Download our booklet on ‘Dealing with a Housing Crisis‘ for more information and tips about dealing with an immediate or imminent housing crisis.


THMs only work with people who are either currently living in their designated area or whose last permanent address was in that area. Here is where you can get help to contact your local THM:

  • Call WIRE 1300 134 130 ( 9am to 5pm, Monday – Friday) to locate a THM 
  • Call the Department of Health and Human Service’s crisis and emergency information info line on 1800 825 955 (24 hours) or (03) 9689 2777 (if calling from a mobile) for the latest information
  • Check the full list of providers for your local services
  •  Visit Housing Vic’s Crisis & Emergency Accommodation page for a list of after-hours services, specialist services and support for people experiencing homelessness and family violence


Like almost everything to do with housing services, getting information and help can be incredibly time-consuming, frustrating and confusing. Here are some simple things you can do to make the experience less stressful, and perhaps in the end, more rewarding.

  • Try to contact the service as soon as possible. It’s important to contact your local THM as soon as you find yourself in, or approaching, a housing crisis. Your THM will then have a better chance of helping you avoid the worst of it.
  • Be prepared to wait to speak to a THM. A good idea is to find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed when making your call (or calls). Get everything you need – paper, pen and perhaps a coffee and a magazine or book to read while you wait. Pull up a chair and try to relax.
  • Think carefully about what you want to say and any questions you need to ask. Write them down before you make your call. It is crucial that you don’t make your situation sound better than it really is because you feel embarrassed or ashamed. THMs need to know exactly what is going on, so they can give you the help you need. If they don’t understand that your situation is urgent, you won’t get this support. It is also very important to show the THM that, with help, you will be able to get yourself back on track.
  • When you do speak to someone, ask for their name and write it down. If the THM refers you to other housing services, ask what these services will do for you.
  • Ask for an appointment to explain your housing problem in person. When you go to this appointment be ready to talk about your situation clearly and realistically. It may be helpful to practice what you are going to say with someone you trust before you meet the THM.
  • Don’t wait for the THM to call you back. Whatever happens, it is important to keep in contact with your THM until your situation is sorted out.

High priority is given to people experiencing long-term or recurring homelessness. The demand for crisis housing is greater than what is available in Victoria. There is no guarantee of immediate access to crisis housing, even if you meet eligibility criteria.

Documents and Appointments

A THM will need to see some important documents at your first appointment. Remember to take your Healthcare Card, at least two other forms of identification, and copies of any other documents that support your situation. These may include:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Residency papers
  • Bank books, bank statements and ATM cards
  • Rental property leases
  • Letters relating to your situation from people such as real estate agents, landlords and doctors

Claiming your Centrelink payments when you are homeless

It’s important to maintain your Centrelink payments. If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, ask to speak to a Centrelink Community Engagement Officer (CCEO). These officers provide services to people of all ages who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They can help you to understand, claim and maintain your income support payments. To contact a CCEO, ask at your local Centrelink service centre.


Where can I go for help?

To find out more about your housing options or your local THM, you can contact WIRE at any time between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

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