Sydney Homeless On the Rise
26 August 2014 at 10:42 am
Homelessness figures in Sydney are on the rise with an increase in the number of street homeless, according to a new report by Homelessness NSW.
Released today, the City of Sydney Street Count report highlights the medium term upward trend in rough sleeper numbers, with a 16 per cent increase in the number of street homeless since the last winter count 12 months ago.
Homelessness NSW CEO Gary Moore said government assistance was “urgently needed”.
“The numbers from two weeks ago are a full 20 per cent increase on those recorded two years ago in August 2012,” Moore said.
“When you consider that the February 2014 street count results showed a 26 per cent increase on the last summer street count of 12 months earlier, warning bells start to ring.
“The small reductions in the street homeless, seen in 2011-12 when extra Government investment in one-off Housing First projects came on stream, seem to have disappeared.”
Later this week, Homelessness NSW will meet with frontline services and local Council representatives from several locations across Greater Sydney to examine the trends in rough sleeping.
According to Moore, there are now street homeless people across the city from the Royal National Park to Parramatta City Centre to abandoned farm sheds in the Hawkesbury to cars in Fairfield and public shelters on the Northern Beaches.
“We urgently need Government assistance so that street counts can be conducted and provide accurate and timely information on rough sleeper populations across NSW,” Moore said.
“We also need a decade long investment in Housing First type projects, to permanently reduce the numbers of rough sleepers.”
Earlier this year, research by the City of Melbourne StreetCount revealed a 40 per cent increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the Melbourne CBD in the past two years.
StreetCount identified 142 people sleeping rough in and around the city – the highest result since the inception of the count in 2008.