Assertive Outreach Program addresses Homelessness in South Eastern Sydney

Homelessness effects over 105,237 people across Australia, with over 490 people experiencing primary homelessness in Sydney alone – sleeping on the streets or in their cars. In the Sutherland Shire, South Eastern Sydney’s Partners in Recovery Program (or PIR) has been working to support a coordinated approach to ending homelessness.

“We all work together so that there are a range of support options in the region, it’s our best chance of supporting people experiencing homelessness who have a range of support needs and unique situations,” says South Eastern Sydney Medicare Local PIR Manager Cat Goodwin.

Assertive Street outreach is an evidence based approached to supporting people to exit homelessness. South Eastern Sydney’s Partners in Recovery have formed a partnership with Sutherland Council to provide outreach support on the streets and in National Parklands in the Sutherland Local Government Area.

Four months in we are pleased to announce we have been able to support 3 people from the streets to a home of their own. An outcome that could not have been achieved without the support of homelessness and community organisations in the area.

Sally is a Partners in Recovery client who has been happy to share her story about the help she has received from PIR in ending her homelessness and accessing support for her mental wellbeing.

“When I first met my Support Facilitator from Neami PIR I was homeless and in an abusive relationship and struggling to achieve my goals on my own. With their help I am now housed, have left my abusive relationship and am focused for a positive, productive future. I couldn’t have done it on my own.”

South Eastern Sydney Medicare Local PIR, Neami National, Southern Community Welfare, Shire Community Services, Salvation Army, Joshua’s Kitchen and Sutherland Shire Council are all working in partnership ensuring a coordinated and responsive strategy to address primary homelessness.

Community Development Officer from the Sutherland Shire Council Maree Everitt announced today, “The Council is pleased to work in partnership with Partners in Recovery and welcomes the implementation of the Assertive Outreach Program. Linking our most vulnerable people – our homeless – to a range of services will do more than put a band aid on the problem and, instead, provide the best possible chance to make real change in people’s lives. Homelessness is an increasing concern in the Shire and it is great to see not only the strong partnerships between local organisations, but that additional resources and evidence based practice is being applied to provide the best possible opportunities for people to permanently exit homelessness.”

“It’s about connecting with people and offering them real choices and options for ending their experience of homelessness. People lose hope when they are on the streets and change can take time, so it’s important to work at the persons own pace and bring the services they need most to them,” reiterates SESML PIR Manager Cat Goodwin.

The message and partnership announcement of an Assertive Outreach Program could not come at a move pivotal and poetic time as this week is Homeless Person’s Week. It is clear that this is an issue that society can no longer afford to ignore and the Assertive Outreach Program aims to go to great lengths to provide services, support, education and information around homelessness and those ‘sleeping rough’.

For more information regarding homelessness in New South Wales and the South Eastern Sydney Partners in Recovery Program see contact details below:

For more information regarding homelessness in NSW: www.homelessnessnsw.org.au

More information

For more information regarding homelessness in NSW: www.homelessnessnsw.org.au

For more information on the Partners in Recovery Program go to: www.sesml.org.au/pir.php

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