ENDING HOMELESSNESS TOGETHER

One in 200 people in Australia are homeless on any given night – which is why the NSW Government is delivering $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over the next four years to support new and existing initiatives. This Homelessness Week (August 6-12), Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said the NSW Government was committed to supporting people experiencing homelessness to break the cycle of disadvantage.

“We are getting more proactive in the way we engage and build trust and relationships with people sleeping rough. We know we cannot rely on people coming to us – we have to go to them,” Ms Goward said.“Homelessness is not a simple issue to solve – you cannot simply put a person who has been sleeping on the streets for years into a home and expect it to work – you need to give them the right wraparound support.”

Ms Goward said $61 million in new funding over the next four years had been allocated to implement the Homelessness Strategy which has a strong focus on assertive outreach.“I have been out with our wonderful assertive outreach teams to see first-hand the work they do with people sleeping rough – on the streets and on the trains,” Ms Goward said.

“We know that if we provide the right support to address the underlying complexity behind each person’s homelessness we can help them to maintain a tenancy.“As a result of this approach we have permanently housed more than 270 rough sleepers since March 2017 with 90 per cent sustaining their tenancies over a 12 month period.”

Recently, the NSW Government announced the Supported Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) for up to 255 people at risk of homelessness to engage with health, education and employment services and more than 28,000 nights of supported temporary accommodation in place of caravan parks and motels.