IAEH - Resolution of Sydney Council

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Other | August 22, 2011

Files: PDF | 53 KB | 2 pages

To Council:

Homelessness is a major challenge facing cities around the world. The City of Sydney is the only local council in Australia to have a dedicated Homelessness Unit and we invest over $1.7M annually on effective work to address homelessness and help people find and keep long term housing.

I welcomed the recent announcement by the Minister for Family and Community Services to fund housing for 70 people currently sleeping rough in Woolloomooloo. This is the most significant action taken to address homelessness in the inner city in decades. The most recent City of Sydney street count results indicated 118 people were currently sleeping rough in Woolloomooloo, so there is still plenty of work to do.

The bi-annual Street Count took place on 2 August 2011 and counted 307 people sleeping rough across the City of Sydney. This is a reduction since the February count, which was 363 and a slight increase in the count conducted a year ago, which was 289. Way2Home, a homeless outreach service, continues to be very successful and, since February, has helped over 50 rough sleepers get housing.

In March 2011, the City’s Homeless Unit Manager, Liz Giles represented the City at the 4-day ‘End Homelessness’ conference in Washington DC, in the United States of America. The invitation-only conference was attended by 26 leaders in the field of homelessness research, policy and practice from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The conference aimed to identify ways that international representatives and leading thinkers can work together to address homelessness and set ambitious goals to end chronic homelessness.

Members of the conference agreed to form a proposal named the ‘International Alliance to End Homelessness’. The mission of the Alliance is to assist and enhance the work of national governments, local communities and non-government organisations to end homelessness by progressing and sharing homelessness policy, practice and research.

The Alliance is a commitment to share research and information focusing on:

  • Prevention of homelessness;
  • Youth homelessness;
  • Strategies to combine housing and services; and
  • The relationship between homelessness and the criminal justice system.

The Alliance hopes to build on existing data and research from signatories with the aim of facilitating reflection, learning and action.

Participants that share these goals and wish to participate in an International Alliance are asked to sign the Communiqué attached.

Signing the Communiqué does not commit the City to any actions, but provides an opportunity to share experience and research around topics of interest.