Outreach houses 200th rough sleeper

13 Mar 2018

The NSW Government has introduced more proactive outreach programs that take services directly to people sleeping rough – resulting in 200 people from the inner city accessing permanent, stable social housing.

A recent summer street count identified 329 people sleeping rough in the inner city - 104 less than the 433 people counted in February 2017.

Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing Pru Goward said the Government had changed the way it worked with people sleeping rough to make the difference.

“We had to be 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 had to go to them,” Ms Goward said.

“On 66 occasions we visited places like Belmore Park, Wentworth Park and Central Station day after day to engage with rough sleepers and find them accommodation.”

The new initiatives include the Homelessness Outreach Support Team (HOST) and FACS Housing Services Hubs which take assistance to people where they sleep.

The services have been enhanced by the introduction of a new mobile outreach van that enables staff to deliver support normally provided at a FACS Housing office.

The NSW Government is investing $1.1 billion to support people experiencing homelessness and improve services for social housing tenants to help break the cycle of disadvantage.

“In addition to housing, we will ensure people experiencing homelessness receive the wraparound support services they need to address the underlying issues that lead to their homelessness,” Ms Goward said.

“We know there is more work to do and we are determined to do that work.”