Decline in rough sleepers

Coast Shelter has welcomed news that the number of people sleeping rough on the Central Coast has been reduced by 53 per cent in the last 12 months, as revealed by data from the NSW Government’s annual street count.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, said there were 58 people recorded as sleeping rough in February 2020, compared to just 27 people in February 2021.

“The annual street count of rough sleepers is critical to understanding the needs of the community and targeting supports tailored to those needs,” Crouch said.

“The impact of COVID-19 has prompted an unprecedented funding commitment from the NSW Government, which has resulted in this fantastic outcome for the Central Coast region.”

The NSW Government has expanded assertive outreach to the Central Coast and has invested $65M in the new Together Home initiative, which provides secure housing and wraparound supports for people who were previously sleeping rough.

“The NSW Government is working hard to get rough sleepers off Central Coast streets and into secure housing,” Crouch said.

“Currently, there are 243 new social and affordable housing properties being constructed across our region.

“This year’s street count result is also a testament to the strong partnership between Government and local housing and homelessness organisations like Coast Shelter and Pacific Link Housing, and I look forward to that good work continuing.”

Coast Shelter CEO, Michael Starr, said the organisation was pleased to see a reduction in the number of people sleeping on the streets across the Central Coast over the past 12 months and committed to being involved in the annual street count in 2022.

“There is still a lot of work to do but we are optimistic about the positive impact that initiatives like Together Home, which offers supported transition and outreach services for people sleeping rough and homeless into safe housing, will have here on the Central Coast,” Starr said.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward, said the second annual street count of rough sleepers across all of NSW recorded 1,131 people compared to 1,314 people last year, a reduction of 14 per cent.

“The work we’ve done in the last year has helped hundreds of rough sleepers secure housing and prevented thousands of people from becoming homeless by helping them maintain tenancies in the private rental market,” Ward said.

The annual street count provides valuable data to help pursue the ambitious Premier’s Priority of halving street sleeping across NSW by 2025.

Terry Collins