Agencies providing assistance to the Illawarra's homeless and disadvantaged are modifying practices and re-directing resources to meet the growing need due to COVID-19.
"There are increasing referrals," Southern Youth and Family Services CEO Narelle Clay said.
"That's partly because people who have maybe been sleeping in temporary accommodation or other arrangements, may no longer be able to do that.
"There's also extra referrals from people who may now be losing their jobs.
"We've got a lot of young people who are casual workers in the industries that are now closing."
SYFS provides support and assistance to vulnerable, disadvantaged and homeless young people and those at risk of, disadvantage and homelessness.
Ms Clay said there was increasing stress, anxiety and concern among young people and young families, meaning it was crucial SYFS' workforce stayed healthy, positive and still operating.
"For group work, things like parenting programs, living skills, education, training groups for young people, those things have had to stop to ensure people are safe and obeying the rules (of social distancing)," she said.
"But we can reshape some of those, so we're doing more individual casework support."
Wollongong Homeless Hub manager Mandy Booker said they had already seen an increase in people contacting them for advice and assistance after losing their jobs, who were unsure how they would pay their rent.
Ms Booker said they were monitoring their social distancing when working with clients. For instance, their usual sit-down breakfast has turned into a takeaway meal.
Ms Booker said they also had sanitary packs they were distributing to clients who were sleeping rough, as it was often difficult for those in need to access items such as hand sanitizer.
"Some of our services, some of the events and activities that we do, as far as our outreach clothing truck and things like that, we've had to suspend at this time," she told the Mercury.
"Quite frankly, it's going to be very difficult (to meet the demand)."
Gareth Ward, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services said the NSW Government is working to increase the supply and flexibility of temporary accommodation available for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including accommodation suitable for self-isolation.
"We have already taken a number of initial steps to support homelessness providers, including covering the costs of additional staffing, such as casual workers or overtime; and helping services to find alternative accommodation options for clients and covering the costs of temporary accommodation for people that need to self-isolate."
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