Recent homeless street counts in the City of Sydney and Parramatta have revealed a sharp increase in the number of homeless ‘rough sleepers’ in both areas.
The City of Sydney’s summer street count conducted in February found 365 people sleeping rough in the city’s streets, parks and public places up 5.5 per cent on February 2014. Two members of PIAC’s StreetCare, Ken Hamilton and Daryl Smith, assisted in conducting the street count this year.
The City of Parramatta summer street count, also conducted in February, found 43 people sleeping rough in the city’s streets, parks and public places a significant increase of almost 80 per cent from the previous year. In addition, 260 people were in crisis accommodation shelters an increase of 5 per cent from the previous year.
According to StreetCare’s Ken Hamilton, the dramatic growth in the number of people sleeping rough in the city indicates the failure of governments to properly resource emergency accommodation services in response to the dramatic surge of people facing a housing crisis.
‘The tragic thing is we are now seeing more families, more women with little kids being forced onto the streets, living in tents in parks. This needs urgent attention from government. This should not be allowed to happen,’ said Ken Hamilton.
Photo: StreetCare’s Ken Hamilton