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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 167 ..

findings from the report on government services relating to the performance of the ACT’s specialist housing and homelessness services?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. The report demonstrates that the ACT government’s focus on intervention and prevention in the homelessness sector is helping Canberrans to maintain housing and gain employment or receive training.

It is important to highlight today some of the data that comes out of the report. The ACT has the strongest results in the country; we have been linking employment and education opportunities to those who have been seeking help through the specialist homelessness services. After receiving support, 32 per cent of people seeking assistance were employed or enrolled in educational training, including 26 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is important to note that that support is more than just about providing housing support; it is about making sure that people have other ways that they can get support from these organisations.

This demonstrates that the ACT is doing quite well compared to other jurisdictions in helping people to get into housing, and to maintain that housing as well. The results show that this coordinated approach to tackling homelessness is working to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

The data shows that the ACT is doing well. Of course, at the housing summit and through the conversations that I have had over the past year, we recognise that there are ways that we can improve, and I look forward to continuing to engage with the Canberra community on ways that the ACT government can do that.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what does the report show about the level of rough sleeping? What services are available to Canberrans who are sleeping rough?

MS BERRY: Homelessness comes in many forms but one of the hardest and toughest challenges can be supporting people to make the transition from sleeping rough into some more permanent housing. The ACT provides more homelessness accommodation per head of population than any other jurisdiction, something that we have maintained for many years.

St Vincent de Paul’s street to home team actively seeks out and engages with rough sleepers to make sure that they are provided with the support they need. OneLink, the ACT’s human services gateway, attends the early morning centre and the Griffin Centre each week to speak to clients and to connect them up to services as well.

It is great to see that we were able to launch those expanded services that were funded by the ACT government late last year. I know that those increased hours will be able to support those people in our community who most need that work.

At the centre of these services are the people: the people who spend all that time doing all that incredibly valuable and challenging work meeting with people and making sure that they are linked up to the correct services to ensure that they are getting the support they need.

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