Street count to address regional homelessness

Published: 6 Aug 2019

The NSW Government is working with the non-Government sector on a large-scale street count of people sleeping rough in regional and rural NSW.


This activity, the first of its kind for the NSW Government, will assist with planning and investment aimed at halving the number of people sleeping rough by 2025.

Recent figures show that more than 455 people who previously slept rough on Sydney streets have been housed since 2017, with 92 per cent sustaining their tenancies.

This improvement has been helped by assertive outreach teams, which operate in Sydney’s CBD, Parramatta and on trains at night. Working in partnership with health services, general practitioners and NGOs, assertive outreach teams provide a targeted response and case management approach.

NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the street count would complement the $10.7 million expansion of assertive outreach services to Newcastle and Tweed Heads.

“We are supporting people at risk of homelessness by putting more boots on the ground in the form of assertive outreach teams, which engage directly with rough sleepers and help them into stable homes,” Mr Ward said.

“Our $1 billion investment includes initiatives to address all forms of homelessness, including programs to increase the supply of social and affordable housing.”

Sydney became the tenth city, and NSW the first state, to join the Institute for Global Homelessness Vanguard City program.

The first trial street counts will take place in Newcastle, Tweed Heads and Western NSW in coming months with a statewide count planned for February 2020.

Find out about National Homelessness Week

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