Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Street to Home program launched in the ACT

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Joy Burch MLA, ACT Minister for Housing

Tanya Plibersek and ACT Minister for Housing, Joy Burch today launched ‘Street to Home‘ – an assertive outreach service aimed to help homeless people sleeping rough in the ACT.

St Vincent de Paul will receive nearly $1 million over three years from the Australian and ACT Governments to provide the assertive outreach program for rough sleepers in Canberra.

The service will facilitate a ‘who’s new on the streets’ committee in partnership with city park rangers, ACT policing, ACT Mental Health, hospital social workers and other partners. The committee will have a focus on identifying people who may have recently started sleeping rough.

“The Street to Home program aims to assist homeless Canberrans to re-engage with support services which will help them keep a roof over their head,” Ms Plibersek said.

“People experiencing chronic homelessness, particularly rough sleepers and at-risk young people will be assisted by the program, which works to address mental health, drug and alcohol issues.

“The program will help prevent homelessness by linking rough sleepers with the appropriate support to get a roof over their head with the aim of sustaining long-term housing.”

Ms Burch said the Street to Home program was a welcome addition to the range of homelessness services offered in the ACT.

“It’s estimated there are over 80 rough sleepers and nearly 1,500 homeless people in the ACT who could benefit from the Street to Home program,” said Ms Burch.

“I’m thrilled to announce Street to Home will be operated by St Vincent de Paul – an organisation that’s been supporting the Canberra community for over 35 years.

“Vinnies already has a strong presence helping Canberra’s homeless through its Night Patrol services, which already provides assistance to rough sleepers and homeless.”

Two workers from St Vincent De Paul will actively seek out and support those who are living in unsuitable conditions. Shannon Pickles from St Vincent De Paul said the organisation will help homeless Canberrans to overcome barriers to enter appropriate housing.

“The service will seek to provide flexible support and case management to people sleeping rough, based on understanding, patience and consistency,” said Mr Pickles.

The Street to Home program is part of a broader commitment by the Australian and ACT Governments who together have committed $20.13 million over four years to reduce homelessness under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.