7 March 2016
I took part in the recent City of Sydney Homelessness Street Count to make sure I understand the scale of rough sleeping across the Sydney electorate. Numbers have risen since 2013, with 890 people without a place to live: 486 sleeping rough and 404 in hostels – the highest for six years.
Homelessness NSW’s latest report shows that many of those on living on the street have serious health and welfare concerns. Their survey identified 72% of rough sleepers experiencing substance abuse and 49% some form of abuse, 53% have been in prison and 34% in foster care, 53% use mental health support and 35% have a disability.
At a time when private housing is advertised as ‘smart buys for $1million’, the NSW and Commonwealth governments need to make sure there is affordable housing and increase social housing with necessary support services in order to reduce the number of people sleeping rough, as said in Parliament late last year, available HERE.
I worked with the campaign to retain funding for women’s refuges and hostels and the Haymarket Clinic. While these emergency services are vital, we need homes for people to move into so that others can also get access to a crisis bed. Download and sign my petitions for homelessness services, mental health support, social housing and to keep the Sirius building in The Rocks for low cost housing, HERE.