Intensive work to reduce rough sleeping in Tweed Heads and surrounding areas is delivering positive results with dozens of people assisted into safe and secure housing.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the NSW Government’s $5.1 million assertive outreach program is helping turn the tide on homelessness in the region.

“Staff have been out on the streets, conducting more than 500 patrols since we expanded our homelessness outreach efforts to Tweed Heads in September last year,” Mr Provest said.

“More than 45 people previously sleeping rough in our region have been helped into safe and secure housing through this program, and are now being provided the critical support they need to break the cycle of homelessness.”

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the success of assertive outreach in Tweed Heads was contributing to the pursuit of the NSW Liberals & Nationals target to halve street sleeping by 2025.

“Not only do we provide people with a roof over their head, but this approach also provides rough sleepers with the wrap-around support they need to stay off the streets for good.” Mr Ward said.

“Assertive Outreach is changing lives and we will continue to build on the very positive foundations of the program in Tweed Heads.”

Assertive outreach has also been a key component of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tweed, with housing and homelessness services ramping up the effort to keep people safe during this very challenging time.

In recognition of the increased health risks facing both clients and team members, NSW Government has allocated the Tweed AO team with a touchless thermometer. This easy-to-use device enables the user to take the temperature of any individual from a safe distance, allowing them to maintain proper social distancing.

The project will seek to change the lives of people who have experienced rough sleeping by rapidly securing them homes from the private rental market and wrapping essential support services around them.