New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to halve the number of people sleeping on the state’s streets by 2025, promising to tackle the “root causes” of homelessness. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Ms Berejiklian pledged her government’s commitment to the target as she yesterday signed an agreement alongside representatives from homelessness service providers, including the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, and the City of Sydney at NSW Parliament.
“The social problems that are attached to homelessness and the cycle of homelessness are really the root cause of what we need to deal with,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We know, unfortunately, that those who are prone to homelessness - even after you provide a roof over their head - need that wrap-around support of other services to ensure their opportunity for independence.”
The state’s progress towards the target will be monitored by the Institute of Global Homelessness, which will assist service providers to developer strategies and track results.
NSW is the 10th jurisdiction around the world to sign up to the institute’s program. The city of Adelaide has also signed up.
The City of Sydney, which collects data on the number of rough sleepers in the CBD, recorded 278 people sleeping on the streets in August - the lowest number in five years.
Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said one of the initial goals of the program would be to gather data on the number of rough sleepers, as homelessness figures for regional centres such as Dubbo were “not clear”.
The Berejiklian government says it has committed $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over the next four years.
The agreement also represents a new accord between the state government and the City of Sydney over homelessness in the CBD. It follows the spectacular disagreement between the two in 2017 over how to handle the emergence of a “tent city” of homeless people in Martin Place.
The camp was ultimately disbanded after the Berejiklian Government passed special laws enabling police to remove the tents on “public safety” grounds.
Premier commits to halving street homelessness in NSW by 2025 (Sydney Morning Herald)
NSW bid to halve homelessness by 2025 (SBS News)
NSW pledges to halve homelessness by 2025 (Catholic Weekly)