1. Courtney Herron’s friend says the system let her down before she was murdered.
When Jessica Bateman saw her friend Courtney Herron just over two weeks ago, she didn’t have enough money to get home.
Herron, who had been couch surfing and sleeping rough for some time, gave her $10.
It was a demonstration of how “generous” her friend was, Bateman said.
“I mean, she could’ve put that towards a bed, shelter for the night, safety, but she got me back home.”
Herron's body was discovered by dog walkers in Melbourne's Royal Park on Saturday morning, and Bateman told The Project on Monday night she was "shocked and saddened" to hear of her friend's murder.
Bateman had "worried immensely" about her.
"She was couch-surfing and when she couldn’t find a friend to couch-surf with, she’d spend nights in parks - the park that she was discovered in," Bateman said.
"We worried about each other but I worried about her more so because I live in a house, I’ve got support systems, I’ve got family and Courtney didn’t.
"She knew that her family loved her, but she wasn’t in touch with them. It was very, if you will, sporadic."
Bateman said Herron was let down by a system that had failed to provide her with the assistance she needed with housing, drug dependency and mental illness.
"She was trying to get into public housing, she was trying to get onto methadone or something that would stop the withdrawal symptoms that she was going to face. The fear of withdrawal is what really kept her using," Bateman said.
She told host Waleed Aly homeless women were particularly vulnerable.
"Men can attack them, take advantage of them, especially when it concerns mental illness and drugs," she said.