SSI was pleased to support Western Sydney Homeless Connect in Parramatta Town Hall on Monday 8 August, a unique event in which to assist people experiencing homelessness.
SSI keenly recognises that housing affordability and homelessness is a growing concern among its client base – many who live in Western Sydney – and we were happy to be able to participate in an event where service providers can connect with each other and with people experiencing homelessness in a casual and friendly environment.
SSI sponsored the event by providing durable shopping bags in which hygiene care packs were assembled and distributed. The bags also came in handy for the clothing, fresh fruit and other items that were available to help support Western Sydney's homeless and vulnerable people.
Just like many other tenants in Sydney on Centrelink benefits or low income, the people SSI supports from a refugee background or seeking asylum are also at risk of becoming homeless.
All it takes is for the rent to be increased, a sickness in the family that adds to expenses, or someone is unable to work. People seeking asylum are in an even more difficult predicament, not being able to access many subsidies.
The event, which helps to break down stigma and restore some dignity to people experiencing homelessness, saw many participants enjoy a free haircut, massage, hot food and coffee, health screen or a simple hug.
Homeless Connect events are run entirely on donations and by volunteers, and there was an estimated 2500 people at the 2016 event.
SSI Housing supports humanitarian entrants and people seeking asylum to find suitable accommodation by helping them overcome the barriers of having no rental history or references, little English language skills, or money for bond.
As a Community Housing Provider, SSI is working to find more innovative and collaborative ways in which to increase the opportunities for long term affordable housing for all people in Sydney, and working with landlords to manage properties and help keep rental costs at a minimum.
Last year SSI also established an Emergency Housing Assistance scheme in response to the increasing demand for crisis accommodation and to support other Specialist Homelessness Services who are currently at capacity.
To find out more about our housing services, visit: