Aboriginal people sleeping rough on the Central Coast will be supported into safe and stable housing through a new program, which aims to help them break the cycle of homelessness.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the $1.3 million initiative would change people’s lives by securing homes from the private rental market and wrapping essential support services around them.
“This program will be led by the Aboriginal community and will cater supports to suit the individual needs of Aboriginal people sleeping rough,” Mr Ward said.
“The initiative is about more than providing shelter. It involves connecting people with the services and support they require to address things like trauma, mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction, empowering them to break the cycle of homelessness.”
The program has been developed in consultation with local Aboriginal organisations, and builds on the early success of the $36 million Together Home project across NSW.
The package of support is designed to help get people off the streets for good. It will provide access to the services people need to maintain their tenancy, improve their health and wellbeing and move towards training and employment.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said the initiative will see homelessness, health and community services collaborate towards a common goal.
“The NSW Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2025, and we’ve ramped up our assertive outreach efforts on the Central Coast to help reach that target,” Mr Crouch said.
“More than 25 people who were sleeping rough on the Central Coast have been supported into secure housing since the beginning of the pandemic.
“This new program will build on that work and help more local people rebuild their lives.”
Work is underway to identify a local organisation to lead the Aboriginal-led Together Home project, which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2020.