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The Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places

The Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places provides a framework for interactions between officials of participating NSW Government organisations and homeless people in public places.

The aim of the protocol is to ensure homeless people are treated respectfully and appropriately and are not discriminated against on the basis of their homeless status.

No Exits from Government Services into Homelessness: A Framework for Multi-Agency Action

Many highly vulnerable people leaving government services have multiple and complex needs or experience unpredictable exit pathways that significantly increase their risk of homelessness.

This includes young people leaving out-of-home care, people being released from correctional facilities, people leaving social housing and patients transitioning from health care settings.

The No Exits from Government Services into Homelessness: A framework for multi-agency action 2020 outlines agreed service principles for effective and coordinated planning across NSW Government agencies to support people to move into stable accommodation and independent living.

The Framework informs NSW Government transition planning policies and procedures to strengthen current practice and reduce exits from government services into homelessness.

Housing and Mental Health Agreement

Communities and Justice (DCJ) is committed to helping people in NSW with mental health issues who need assistance with housing.

People with mental health problems are among the most vulnerable members of our community. Their needs can be highly complex. Supporting them often requires collaboration between government and non-government agencies so that people can access the full range of services available to them.

The Housing and Mental Health Agreement provides a framework that covers planning, coordinating and delivering effective services to people with mental health issues who are living in social housing or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Homelessness due to domestic and family violence

In recognition of the devastating impact domestic and family violence has on our community, domestic and family violence services are a major focus for DCJ. We are committed to reducing the effects of domestic and family violence by improving access to timely and appropriate support and crisis accommodation, and safe and affordable housing. The safety of women and children is most important to the work we do.

Improving access to safe housing

Domestic and family violence can lead to homelessness. DCJ is committed to reducing the risk of homelessness among people experiencing domestic and family violence by improving access to safe and affordable housing, and providing appropriate and timely housing assistance.

There are now more services across NSW catering for the specific needs of women who are victims of domestic and family violence. More than 12,070 women each year will be assisted by specialist homelessness services. Support to families, the majority of whom are women with children, has increased, with more than 18,050 family members receiving a service.

Increasing funding to combat domestic and family violence

More funding is being injected into the service system to make it stronger and increase the capacity of services catering for the special needs of women who are victims of domestic and family violence.

As part of the NSW Government’s $60 million initiative to combat domestic violence, we are investing $20 million over 2 years to boost the capacity of homelessness services providing responses, including women’s refuges, to women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

This investment will help respond to increased demand and better assist women experiencing domestic and family violence by delivering expert 24/7 around the clock support and funding additional accommodation options.

NSW Ombudsman’s report on specialist homelessness services - implementation plan

The NSW Ombudsman tabled a report ‘Specialist homelessness services: helping people with high or complex needs’ in August 2022. View DCJ’s Implementation Plan in response to that report.

Who to contact

Women escaping domestic violence can call:

1800 152 152

Operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where they will be assessed and referred to the most appropriate service. If a refuge bed is not available, they can be provided with temporary accommodation while other solutions are sought.

Women can also call:

NSW Domestic Violence Line
1800 656 463 for counselling, information and referral to other services.

Providing refuge and accommodation for women is only one response, which is why specialist homelessness services offer a greater range of prevention, early intervention and support responses.

Initiatives to keep people safe

Many DCJ initiatives support women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

Start Safely

Start Safely is a subsidy that provides short-to-medium term financial support to people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. The Start Safely subsidy helps people secure private rental accommodation so they don’t have to return to the violent situation.

Staying Home, Leaving Violence (SHLV)

SHLV is a DCJ initiative that enables women and children experiencing domestic and family violence to remain in their home, if they choose and where it is safe to do so.

The range of support includes outreach support, risk assessments, safety planning, security modifications and equipment, court support, casework and advocacy.

Housing Pathways

The Housing Pathways and local Housing office pages can provide more information about the types of help available and how to access them.

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Last updated: 21 Nov 2023