Social workers call for housing for homeless as The Block goes to a

Veteran St Kilda homelessness support worker Billi Clarke is not one to mince her words.

“There is no doubt,” she says, that the Gatwick Hotel — billed by Channel Nine’s hit reality renovation show The Block as “Australia’s most notorious hellhole” — was a “shithole”.

“We are not saying it should have stayed the way it was,” she says of the seedy, violence-plagued former St Kilda boarding house, which housed some of Melbourne’s most vulnerable people when no one else would take them in.

But as Melbourne becomes more gentrified and boarding houses like the Gatwick close down, Ms Clarke and other community sector workers worry about the ripple effects felt in the local area and on the homeless.

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