More than 90 people who were sleeping rough in Tweed Heads have been helped off the streets and into secure housing during the pandemic, thanks to NSW Government homelessness programs underway in the region.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the expansion of assertive outreach efforts to Tweed Heads in mid-2019 laid the foundation for new partnerships with non-government organisations.

“I’ve heard first-hand about local people who have been supported to secure housing and to get access to the services and support they need to live independently, and to improve their health and general wellbeing,” Mr Ward said.

“Our hard-working outreach teams are on patrol multiple times each week, engaging with people sleeping rough and providing them with an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness.”

The multi-disciplinary outreach team includes specialist housing, homelessness and health staff, as well as staff from Social Futures and Momentum Collective.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the Assertive Outreach program combined with the NSW Government’s Together Home initiative was helping reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets.

“Having a place to call home gives people the security they need to rebuild their lives,” Mr Provest said.

“Our community is full of great opportunities and by connecting people to the services and support they need, they can truly have a fresh start.”

The NSW Government significantly increased the number of outreach patrols undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to support more people sleeping rough in and around Tweed Heads.

Anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness can call Link2home on 1800 152 152. Staff are available 24/7 to provide information and referrals to homelessness services.