"Assistance for a homeless person sleeping rough."

About: Housing NSW Partners in Recovery

(as a service user),

A homeless person came to our attention just over a week ago. He was sleeping rough on a busy thoroughfare in North Sydney and has some significant mental health issues. Following conversations with him, along with other service providers, it was apparent that he has been homeless for many years and appears to have "fallen through the cracks". After visiting with him several times I knew he would not visit a local Housing office to get the assistance he needed to secure housing. As such, I spoke with Housing NSW and with the wonderful support of the Team Leader in the Northern Sydney District, a team worked with the homeless person to get him off the street and into a safe environment. Whilst he was initially sceptical, the Housing worker was able to assure the person that Housing could in fact provide assistance to him. With the support of Mission Australia he was transported to a hotel where he was given 14 nights accommodation with meals and no longer has to sleep on the street. During this time, Housing will work with him to identify long-term housing options for him and put in place the supports he needs. This is a great example of how outreach can work, and is in fact needed, with some people.

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Responses

Response from Phil Hugill, Acting District Director Northern Sydney, NSW Department of Family and Community Services

picture of Phil Hugill

Hi Cam.

Thank you for sharing your story, It's inspiring when we get this feedback and thank you for the support you provided to this man.

As you have noted, there are still too many people sleeping rough across our city, and in many of these cases their homelessness is combined with other issues. Often, as with this man, once you have fallen through the cracks in the system - be that health, education, disability, employment or mental health - it's very difficult to find the help you need to be able to stand once again on your own two feet.

That’s why I’m very pleased to hear that our Housing Services team in Northern Sydney was able to work with you and with Mission Australia to find this man temporary accommodation, which I hope will be just the first step to finding him a long-term home and the support he needs.

As you’ve said, this is a great example of how Outreach work is needed, and can work. Our Housing Services team is working very hard with our partner agencies to reach out to long-term homeless people across Northern Sydney through Outreach morning teas and lunches and other activities.

The chance to make a difference to the lives of people like the man you have mentioned is a great source of pride and motivation to them.

Once again, thank you.

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