Life after prison: Council to help with exit strategy

Members of the NSW Premier’s Council on
Homelessness, including StreetCare member, Kevin, met last week to discuss ways
to improve the delivery of housing information to people about to be
released from prison.

The Premier’s Council on Homelessness is a
collaboration of Government and non-government representatives. Its brief is to
develop policy solutions to reduce homelessness across NSW.

As members of this Council, Kevin and fellow
StreetCare member, Veronica, are able to ensure the voices of people who have
first-hand experience of homelessness are heard during policy discussions.

Kevin (pictured with the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward) and Veronica recently recorded their experiences of
homelessness as part of a video project, In
Their Words

Click here to watch Kevin’s video interview.

Click here to watch Veronica’s video interview.

Minister Goward said last week’s Council on Homelessness meeting focussed on what can be
done while a person is in prison, or as they are leaving custody, to increase
the chances that they do not become homeless on release.

‘I was pleased that the Attorney General
Greg Smith was also able to contribute to the discussion. Research indicates that stable housing with
support for people leaving custody significantly reduces re-offending,’ Ms
Goward said.

Ministers Goward and Smith agreed that their
departments will work together to improve the provision of information about
housing and support services to people in custody so that they are better able
to seek out services when exiting.

Five new members were appointed to the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness:

  • Jenna Bateman, CEO of the Mental
    Health Coordinating Council;
  • Alison Churchill, CEO of the
    Community Restorative Centre (CRC);
  • Reverend Karen Kime, General
    Manager of Anglicare Canberra Goulburn;
  • Larry Pierce, CEO of the Network
    of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA); and
  • Philip Nadin, CEO of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia (PRA) to the Council.

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