DineSmart was founded in 2003, and so far the initiative has raised more than $5.7 million to reduce homelessness. Taking part is simple: dine at one of the restaurants below between November 21 and December 31. When your bill comes, you can add a small donation to the total, which will go to hyper-local support programs. In some cases, your money will travel just a few doors down the street, maybe to a drop-in centre or a women’s refuge.
In 2018, DineSmart donations in Melbourne totalled $157,000 and funded 37 projects. These include Youth Projects in Melbourne’s CBD, which provides frontline support to individuals experiencing homelessness or disadvantage, aiming to empower, train and create pathways to employment for homeless young people, and First Step in St Kilda, which delivers essential support to clients struggling with drug and alcohol dependence and homelessness.