Minister Goward listens to front-line volunteers about life on the street

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women, Pru Goward, listened to volunteers from StreetCare at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), as they presented opportunities to reduce homelessness.

The meeting coincides with Homeless Persons’ Week, which runs from 5-11 August. This year’s theme is ‘The Hidden Homeless’.

StreetCare, which was established by the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service at PIAC, is run by nine people who have recent experience of homelessness.

‘It is easy to associate homelessness with sleeping on the streets, but the reality is that only 6% of homeless people sleep rough,’ said Lou Schetzer, Senior Policy Officer at PIAC.

‘The ‘hidden homeless’ are people who can’t live at home, for example due to domestic or family violence. They find themselves couch surfing, sleeping in cars or temporary accommodation.

‘StreetCare reflects the diversity of homelessness in New South Wales. The members include men, women, transgender people, young people, and representatives from inner Sydney, the outer suburbs, as well as rural and regional areas.

‘We are pleased that the Minister had the opportunity to hear directly from them about their experiences,’ Mr Schetzer said.

To celebrate the great work that StreetCare has done since it was established in 2009, PIAC has released a video featuring StreetCare members. View the video here: YouTube

“There are so many hard-working volunteers making a real difference to homelessness in NSW.  I congratulate StreetCare on the advice it provides to NSW Government and the work it does to improve the lives of homeless people,” said Ms Goward.

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