Sydney Central Magazine
6 May, 2015
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says more extreme weather events can be expected in Sydney, and she is seeking a State Government protocol for assisting the city’s rough sleepers during future storms.
Over the last two-weeks the State Emergency Service received more than 15,000 requests for help and the NSW Government declared 12 natural disaster areas.
Residents were urged to stay in their homes through the worst of the recent storms, but Sydney’s rough sleepers were left helpless and exposed to the elements.
Staff from the City’s homelessness unit worked with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Neami, Missionbeat, NSW Health and NSW Police to assist rough sleepers in the City.
The City established a temporary accommodation shelter at the Abraham Mott Centre in Millers Point.
Sixty-one homeless people were provided with a safe place to sleep, plus clothing, bedding, food and health assistance.
Cr Moore said research showed Sydney can expect more storms in future due to global warming.
“We have just had a taste of what we can expect, and what scientists have been predicting,” she said.“I have been to many conferences where this type of weather has been predicted. These predications show that it could get worse.”
She said new protocols will ensure services and shelters are readily available for vulnerable Sydney residents in emergencies.
“The storms had such a big impact on people living in houses and apartments, but can you imagine what it would have been like living in a doorway or a viaduct?” she said.
“There was really no arrangement in place from either the Department of Family and Community Services or council to take action to care for those people so we just stepped in and worked with other government agencies and set up emergency relief.”
Lord Mayor write to the Minister for Family and Community Services seeking the creation of a protocol for assisting rough sleepers during emergencies.
Originally published in the Sydney Central Magazine.