On 13 February 2019, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward, together with service providers and the City of Sydney, signed a global agreement at NSW Parliament to halve rough sleeping across the state by 2025.

Mission Australia CEO James Toomey signed onto the ‘A Place to Call Home’ agreement on behalf of the organisation and is anticipating positive outcomes from the initiative's collaborative approach.

"Mission Australia is delighted to be part of this broad-based collaboration to halve rough sleeping in Sydney and across NSW by 2025. We know that without community services organisations, State Government, City of Sydney and other sectors coming together to commit to the solutions, we simply can't begin to solve the issue of rough sleeping in the long-term. By working together to provide early intervention and prevention solutions and putting a coordinated and systemic approach in place, we can create far better outcomes for people who are sleeping rough across NSW," James said.

Sydney is the tenth city internationally to join the fight against rough sleeping and the first entire state in Australia to commit to the agreement. The City of Adelaide was the second city to join the agreement in November 2017. Other cities to sign include Brussels, Belgium and Glasgow, Scotland.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian explained the decision to partner more broadly in the state-wide initiative.

Homelessness is not just a city issue, which is why we have set this target to halve street homelessness across the entire state by 2025.

"It is a complex social issue that cannot be solved by government alone. That's why we will be inviting the best and brightest from the frontline and from the community to collaborate with us to find new ways of tackling street homelessness," she said.

In the most recent City of Sydney street count on 19 February 2019, 373 people were sleeping rough in the local council area alone. Mission Australia Missionbeat workers took part in this summer street count. 

The A Place to Call Home initiative is founded by the Institute of Global Homelessness. It will support homelessness services in Sydney to set goals and strategies to reduce rough sleeping numbers and to measure and track their progress.

The following parties have signed the agreement, with an invitation open for other organisations to join:

  • NSW Government
  • City of Sydney
  • Institute of Global Homelessness
  • Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul, St Vincent's Health, Salvation Army, Wesley Mission, Neami National, Yfoundations.

For more information, including a full list of cities involved in A Place to Call Home, visit the Institute of Global Homelessness website.

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