The 18-month long Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted just how vulnerable some sections of our community are.
Homelessness and street sleeping have long been considered a challenge a modern society should be able to solve, but it remains an intractable social phenomenon in many respects.
COVID-19 has disrupted so much of modern life, but the pandemic has not made life on the streets any easier for Sydney’s homeless.
People sleeping on the streets die years before they should. They suffer illnesses that many in the community never experience, and they are among the most vulnerable people in our community and are more likely to experience violence and discrimination.
Less than two years since its inception, the End Street Sleeping Collaboration is making significant inroads in reducing the numbers of people sleeping rough.
The PAYCE Foundation, with its commitment to the most disadvantaged in our community signed on as the Collaboration’s founding Philanthropic Partner in late 2019.
The major stumbling block in tackling street sleeping is delivering a sustainable housing solution for rough sleepers without critical information.
In 2019, End Street Sleeping Collaboration partnered with Microsoft to develop the By Name List.
The By-Name List is a real-time database that is shared by frontline service providers to access information they need to provide sustainable housing and support services to people experiencing homelessness – without the person needing to retell their story.”
PAYCE Foundation Director Dominic Sullivan said the By Name List project had proven an excellent tool in the campaign to provide direct support to homeless people.
“The By-Name List has been a critical component in the rollout of the successful Together Home Program this year.
“In 2020-21, the program provided for 800 packages of housing and support services for people who were sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Newly appointed End Street Sleeping Collaboration CEO Graham West said the Collaboration+Data strategy was being rolled out more widely across NSW.
“No one needs to experience chronic homelessness,’’ Mr West said.
“The system can be changed at all levels, and together, we are committed to making that happen.
“Our short-term goal is ambitious.
“We aim to halve rough sleeping across NSW by 2025. It’s a goal that, together, we must meet.’’