Together Home program to reduce the number of people sleeping rough

Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre in Wyong

A consortium of Aboriginal service providers based in the northern suburbs will deliver a $1.3M expansion of the NSW Government’s Together Home program to reduce the number of people sleeping rough on the Central Coast.

The consortium will be led by Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Service in Wyong, in partnership with Gudjagang Ngara li-dhi Aboriginal Corporation, also in Wyong, and Mingaletta Aboriginal Corporation in Umina Beach, with housing from Tuggerahbased Compass Housing.

The Aboriginal led Together Home initiative will help people rebuild their family, community and cultural connections, support them to develop daily living skills and facilitate engagement with education and employment.

Through a select tendering process, NSW Department of Communities and Justice invited all Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations on the Central Coast to apply to deliver the additional funding for the Aboriginal Together Home Program.

The NSW Government consulted with the Barang Regional Alliance to bring together specialist Aboriginal support services and deliver the program and the program was successfully awarded to an existing consortium.

Executive Director of Barang Regional Alliance, Vickie Parry, said the initiative would bring about positive change for the community.

“The consortium will work with Community who are homeless on the Central Coast and will provide intensive wraparound support to sustain tenancies and improve their health, economic and wellbeing.

“We are a united force and are excited to see real change for our Community,” Parry said.

The initiative forms part of the Premier’s Priority to halve street sleeping across NSW by 2025.

The recent street count of people sleeping rough recorded a 53 percent reduction in the Central Coast local government area over the past 12 months.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward, said the program would secure housing for rough sleepers and connect them with wraparound support and cultural-specific services to help break the cycle of homelessness.

“Finding a home for someone who is homeless is only part of the solution,” he said.

“Engaging them in the services and support they require to rebuild their lives is an equally important step.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the $1.3M of funding was targeted at getting people off the streets for good.

“It will provide access to services that Aboriginal people need to secure and maintain their tenancy, improve their health and wellbeing and move towards training and employment opportunities,” he said.

Sue Murray