Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton has said that Western Sydney is a big winner under the NSW Government’s Going Home Staying Home reforms.
Minister Upton was joined by Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney Stuart Ayres at the Penrith Homelessness Summit.
Ms Upton said “Going Home Staying Home is long needed change. Put simply, it will mean more money and better services delivered to the areas of greatest need.
“Over the next three years, the NSW Government will invest a record half a billion dollars to tackle homelessness head on,” Ms Upton said.
“Western Sydney through the Western Sydney, South Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains Family and Community Services districts will receive close to $35 million in 2014/15 – an increase of over $2 million dollars on 2013/14.”
Member for Penrith and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said “Solving homelessness requires collaboration, it requires people working together. Those relationships and partnerships are often forged or strengthened at events like the Penrith Homelessness Summit.
“In June, the NSW Government announced the most significant reform to homelessness services in a generation,” Mr Ayres said.
“As the local Member, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney, it is particularly pleasing that Western Sydney is a big winner under Going Home Staying Home.
“Western Sydney will finally have the resources needed to better deal with the problem of homelessness.
“The reforms mean people will be able to get help in Western Sydney and not be forced to travel away from friends, family and their community.”
Minister Upton added the rollout of new specialist homelessness service contracts is already improving the lives for many of the State’s most vulnerable people.
Ms Upton said “Change is challenging but we want, and need, to get it right for the sake of the people we all want to help.
“Just ten weeks on from the announcement, 87% of contracts had been finalised for the 149 funding packages across the State,” Ms Upton said.
“Many of the organisations that were not successful in the tender process will still have a part to play in delivering additional complimentary services to those who need help.
“Eligible providers have been invited to design programs that will complement the Going Home Staying Home reforms and receive funding for up to 18 months through the Service Support Fund.
“Twenty-five Service Support Fund applications have been approved so far, with several more under consideration.”
Mr Ayres added “I commend Penrith City Council and everyone who attended for working together to deliver better outcomes for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”