I refer to your article in regards to the recent announcement of the state government decision on the tenders for specialist homeless services in the Illawarra (Devastated: Government cuts hit homeless women, children, 13/06).
The St Vincent de Paul Society assisted people experiencing disadvantage and homelessness in the Wollongong region for 90 years through a network of locally based volunteers and employees.
We are connected to our local communities and have over 500members in the region who visit people in their homes each and every day providing assistance with bills, food and clothing as well as emotional support. In addition, we operate services addressing homelessness in the Illawarra including John Purcell House, Jim Da Silva Farm, Coniston Men’s Shelter and the Illawarra Brokerage program, which provides early intervention to people at risk ofbecoming homeless.
The St Vincent de Paul Society was recently advised of the outcome of its tenders under the state government’s Going Home Staying Home reforms and is confident it will provide responsive, increased and locally based service to people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, in the Illawarra.
Under the new model, assistance will be provided to men, women, children and families who are at risk or who have insecure accommodation through an early intervention response and outreach will be provided to people who are sleeping rough.
People will be assisted to access and maintain stable housing.
We must all continue to work together to ensure that we can get the best outcomes for those people experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation in the Illawarra.
Denis Walsh, President, St Vincent de Paul Society, Wollongong Central Council
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