A Federal Government target to find homes for a quarter of the City of Sydney's homeless people has been met a year ahead of schedule, thanks to the work of Way2Home, an outreach program funded by the City and the NSW Government.
Way2Home, run by the mental health NGO Neami, has now placed 109 people in permanent housing, with not one of those people returning to homelessness.
That has helped bring down the number of people sleeping rough on Sydney's streets from over 418 to 310 in the past 18 months, according to our most recent Street Count last week.
Woolloomooloo, historically amongst the highest populations of rough sleepers in NSW, has had particularly big improvements, with about half the number of people sleeping rough, down from 95 in the winter 2010 street count.
But the situation won't continue to improve without more affordable housing, more outreach workers and more dedicated resources for supporting people once they are housed.
The City of Sydney commits more resources to addressing homelessness than any other council in Australia, including a NSW information and referral service that provides information, advice, accommodation and practical support to thousands of people every year.
- Neami http://www.neami.org.au/
- Way2Home Assertive Outreach Service http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/homelessnessservices/Way2HomeOutreachService.asp
- City of Sydney Homelessness Unit http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/homelessnessservices/Default.asp
- The Road Home - the Australian Government White Paper on Homelessness http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/progserv/homelessness/whitepaper/Documents/default.htm
- Common Ground Sydney http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/daily-news/3696-common-ground-sydney-supportive-housing-initiative-opens-doors