Young homeless couple set up camp under bridge

Homeless couple Shane, Bianca and their beloved dog, Boof, have set up home under a Yarra River bridge. Photo: 7News

A young homeless couple living under a city bridge say they are desperate for appropriate rental accommodation but the options are simply too expensive or don't allow pets.

Hiding in one of Melbourne's most picturesque locations, Shane, Bianca and their beloved dog, Boof, have set up home.

The couple has been living under the bridge on the Yarra River for almost seven months.

They have tapped into an electricity supply and can even lock out intruders.

After overcoming a heroin addiction, Shane, who has been on and off the streets since he was just six-years-old, moved to Melbourne hoping for a fresh start, but he has not been able to get a job or affordable accommodation.

"Organisations have offered us places but they've been too expensive or I haven't been able to get into these places because I have a dog," he said.

The couple say they can earn up to $300 begging.

"I only sit down and try to get up at least $20 for food. Everyone judges me because they think it's for other bad stuff, but it's not," Bianca, who has been living rough for two years, said.

Thousand of people pass over the bridge every day and most are oblivious to the fact that two people and a dog live just three metres below.

A survey found that just one in five Australians believe homelessness is a choice.

"It's not my choice," Shane said. " I hate living like this. I'd like to be like everyone else, roof over my head, be able to cook a feed when I want, shower when I want."

Salvation Army officer Brendan Nottle has urged the couple to accept the help that has been offered to them.

"There are services all around Melbourne that want to help them, that have been reaching out to them, and we really want to encourage them to grab hold of that support," he said.