Checking in on Our Most Vulnerable

Friday 1 May 2020

Every day at Vinnies we work to ensure everyone has a safe place to sleep.

From our crisis accommodation services, building over 500 social and affordable housing units, and advocating for the NSW Government to increase the amount of social housing – we believe that everyone deserves the right to a safe and secure home.

With COVID-19 putting the health of vulnerable groups in danger and increasing the risk of people falling into homelessness due to the economic impacts, we are stepping up to assist people in their time of need.

In cases where people are unable to access accommodation due to social distancing measures or no services in their location, we are housing them in hotels with individualised support such as dropping off care packages and checking their wellbeing through mobile and video conferencing.

As part of our work in addressing homelessness we signed a global agreement with the NSW Government, City of Sydney and other service providers pledging to halve homelessness across the state by 2025 and eliminating it completely by 2030.

Recently the results of the latest City of Sydney street count found a decrease in the number of people sleeping rough.

Held twice a year to ensure specialist homelessness services, such as the Matthew Talbot Hostel, have up-to-date information, the street count recorded 334 rough sleepers - a decrease of 39 people from twelve months earlier.

While there is still a way to go until we reach our target of zero rough sleepers, we are doing our bit to ensure people experiencing homelessness have the support they need to get back on their feet.

Last year, Vinnies’ staff and volunteers based in Sydney took part in Connections Week as part of a coordinated effort to develop a census identifying people sleeping rough in the community.

Vinnies staff participating in Connections Week street count

Taking the time to speak with people sleeping rough about their needs and how they can be supported, the information gathered will form a by-name list of people sleeping rough to inform public policy and support services.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with people in different parts of the city,” said Rebecca Williams – one of the staff members from our State Support Office in Lewisham.

“They are caring and brave and look out for one another every single day. They share food, clothing, supplies and even money with one another.

“It’s hard to comprehend that sort of generosity when someone has so little to begin with.”

Learn more about our housing and homelessness services.

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