Homelessness is a significant community issue in NSW. Reviewing the most recent data (2016 Census), we know that almost 2,600 people were sleeping on NSW’s streets in 2016. A statistic that is not acceptable according to Graham West, guest speaker in our Talking Homelessness webinar and CEO of End Street Sleeping Collaboration".
"We targeted rough sleeping because people sleeping on the streets die much earlier than the general population, they have worse health outcomes and they are also more likely to be victims of violence. It's not acceptable that we have people in a place like NSW, sleeping on the streets."
Hosted by CatholicCare Sydney, guest speakers from End Street Sleeping, NSW Department of Communities and Justice and Vinnes came together to discuss the issue of homelessness and answer the question, can we end street sleeping?
The NSW Government has signed an agreement with the Institute of Global Homelessness, along with other partners, to halve the number of people sleeping rough across NSW by 2025. While there is still work to be done, it was encouraging to hear that NSW are tracking well to reach their target.
"NSW is tracking well to addressing their target of a 50% reduction by 2025. We've achieved 37% currently and that's a really good outcome." Penny Church, Director Commissioning and Planning, Department of Communities and Justice, Sydney, South Eastern Sydney & Northern Sydney District
"Since March 2017, we've housed more than 1,000 who were formerly sleeping rough."
Collecting and understanding data helps inform collaborative efforts to address this issue. Director of Homelessness and Housing at Vinnies, Brett Macklin shared insight into this community through the collected data.
"The majority of people sleeping on the streets have been doing so for two years or more. This data has also told us that these people need more than a bed."
Watch the recording of this webinar below to learn what steps are being taken to end street sleeping in NSW and how you can help.
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