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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1945 ..


MS VASSAROTTI: I thank Mr Milligan for the question. The issue of rough sleepers is one we are really conscious of, particularly at this time of the year, as the weather gets colder. Everyone in this place is distressed at the fact that we see rough sleepers in Canberra, and on a daily basis we have the Street to Home program from Vinnies that supports people sleeping rough.

In terms of the numbers of people, I have numbers as of 31 May 2021. We know that Street to Home was supporting 99 people. Twelve of those clients were accommodated and they were receiving case management, so they were not sleeping rough at that point in time. Twenty-three clients were receiving case management, so they may or may not have had accommodation, and 64 clients were receiving outreach support—so, we know they are sleeping rough but we do not have an understanding about whether they have accommodation. We know that 51 of those were from Canberra, 6 were from New South Wales, one was from Victoria, two from were Queensland, two were from South Australia, one was from New Zealand and was one unknown.

In addition, I have some information about clients that Onelink have been working with. As of 7 June 2021, Onelink are currently supporting 10 individuals who we know are sleeping rough either in a tent, garage or outdoors, including a man and one couple that were (Time expired.)

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, is the 99 number that you have just stated comparable to the 191 from the February update?

MS VASSAROTTI: I thank Mr Milligan for the question. We are doing quite a bit of work in terms of understanding the data on exact numbers of people and whether we are double counting some numbers. We know a number of people are getting services from a range of different organisations, which is fantastic. I will take the specific question on notice in terms of the comparison of what was counted in the February update and the numbers I gave today.

MR PARTON: Minister, is the government supportive of the Sleepbus scheme which has just commenced in the ACT?

MS VASSAROTTI: I thank Mr Parton for the question. We are seeing across the community a range of responses to homelessness in this city. Certainly the ACT government provides a range of support to specialist homelessness organisations—more than $25 million for specific and systemic responses. We also see a range of other services provided by a range of organisations that are self-funded and not reliant on funding from the ACT government—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order as to relevance, the question was specifically about whether the government supports Sleepbus, not a range of other services. I ask that the minister be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think she is being relevant. She is referring to services that the government does support, and she has a minute left to answer.


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