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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Minister joins sleepout for homelessness

The Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib has today called on Australians to support Mission Australia’s Sleepout in Centennial Park Sydney to raise funds for youth homelessness.

Ahead of World Homelessness Day on 10 October 2010, Senator Arbib also today announced the Gillard Government will provide $25 million to the Reconnect and Household Organisational Management Expenses (HOME) programs this financial year. Embargoed

Senator Arbib said participating in the 10.10.10 Sleepout for World Homelessness Day was a fantastic opportunity for the community to show their support for those young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“It’s incredibly hard to be a young person without a place to call home – a place that most people find to be a strong source of comfort and stability,” Senator Arbib said.

“Early intervention to help young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness get back on their feet actually helps to change their lives.

“That’s why the Reconnect and HOME programs are so vital – they provide essential early intervention services for vulnerable people all around Australia before their problems become entrenched.

“The HOME program is designed to address the immediate housing and financial concerns of young people and families, ensuring their situation does not deteriorate.

“The Reconnect and HOME programs have provided vital practical support such as counselling, group work and family meditation to almost 60,000 young people in recent years.

“I applaud the fantastic work that Mission Australia does to support disadvantaged young people – these are passionate people making a difference to young peoples’ lives.”

“I encourage all to throw their support behind this event, whether it be by donating, busking to attract donations or sleeping out in the beautiful Centennial Park.

The Federal Labor Government has committed almost $5 billion in new funding to tackle homelessness.

To further information about the Sleepout, please visit http://www.hrx.com.au/101010sleepout/.