The NSW Greens spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness, Jan Barham MLC, is calling on the State Government to demonstrate their commitment to people across the State who find themselves homeless.
The call comes as National Homeless Person’s week is marked across the country.
“This week we will be reminded that approximately 30,000 people in NSW are considered homeless” said Jan Barham. “That’s 30,000 people spending tonight without a bed and without a home.”
“The reality is that people find themselves in this position for a whole host of reasons – they may have been rejected from their family home, have mental health issues, be fleeing domestic violence or dealing with addiction or they may just suddenly find themselves in financial trouble, unable to cope with the increasing cost of living.”
“Whatever the reason for someone becoming homeless, it’s up to all of us as a responsible and caring society to ensure there is support and help available. I am presenting a motion to the Parliament seeking a Government commitment to increase the delivery of support for these vulnerable people.”
The motion will be presented when Parliament resumes next week, calling for a range of initiatives including that:
- the Premier’s Advisory Council on Homelessness be retained and meet regularly;
- all Councils to have a nominated staff member responsible for ensuring their Council adheres to the Homeless Persons Protocol;
- all Councils to be required to report on local initiatives for addressing homelessness in their Local Government Area in their Annual Report;
- the 10 Regional Homeless Action Plans developed in July 2010 be reviewed;
- the balance of funds from the NSW allocation under the 2009-10 National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness be identified for a funding program to support local government to meet the needs of homeless people;
“I believe there is a stronger role for local councils to play in the provision of services” said Jan. “They know the local problems and they know the local solutions. I’m encouraging the State to work more closely with local government to allow them to be part of the solution, working with non government organisations – but only with adequate support and funding from the State. There is a role for the Government in providing a funding source to local communities to assist in supporting those who find themselves without a home and desperately in need of access to services and support.”
Full text of Jan Barham’s Motion in Parliament – NSW LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.Motion 698 – Homelessness (BARHAM)
National Homeless Person’s Week 2012 runs from August 6th – 12th and more information can be found at www.HomelessnessAustralia.org.au
A summary of Jan’s actions on homelessness – Summary of Greens Actions on Homelessness May 2012
For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0407 065 061