29 August 2022

More people sleeping rough will be helped into stable accommodation as the NSW Government increases its investment in tackling homeless.

The Supported Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) will be extended following a $20 million investment by the NSW Government.

Minister for Families and Communities Natasha Maclaren-Jones said STEP was vital in supporting people experiencing homelessness find stable accommodation.

“We know that long-term accommodation is crucial for the welfare, health and wellbeing of vulnerable people,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Once accommodation is secured through STEP individual issues can be addressed with assistance provided to access support services and to sustain housing.

“The flow on effects from stable housing are many – the feeling of security, improved mental health and the stability to apply for, and find, jobs.”

STEP has supported 103 people sleeping rough or experiencing secondary homelessness in inner city Sydney since it began in 2018.

Funded by the NSW Government, the program is a partnership between community housing provider Bridge Housing and Neami National, working in collaboration with Metro Community Housing and Women’s Housing Company.

Rebecca Pinkstone, Bridge Housing’s CEO said the funding boost would assist people with vital access to housing and supports.

“This initiative has proven to be life changing for people sleeping rough, helping them into stable accommodation and ensuring they sustain their tenancy,” Rebecca said.

Tenant Andrew was successfully supported into housing through the STEP in 2018 and has thrived.

“Having a home means everything to me because I have safety and security now,” Andrew said.

Operating on a ‘housing first’ model, it supports people into permanent housing and provides support that assists individuals or families to break the cycle of homelessness for good.