Homeless people sleeping rough on Perth streets will receive extra help with expanding support services for Perth’s CBD.
The State Government will provide additional funding of $1.5 million in an effort to keep homelessness services running longer and help rough sleepers get back on track.
Among the initiatives, $500,000 in new funding will be used to deliver immediate on-the-ground assistance to the Perth CBD’s most vulnerable residents.
It will enable an expansion of operating hours at Northbridge’s Tranby Centre, which provides crucial support to people experience homelessness in the city, from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.
The expansion of hours will enable rough sleepers to visit or be referred to the centre in early hours and on weekends.
Another $550,000 in State Government funds will also be used to keep Leederville youth homelessness service Foyer Oxford open.
Anglicare will provide an additional $440,000 to implementing the first trial of the Anglicare-led Home Stretch program, supporting up to 15 care leavers in Fremantle to reduce their risk of becoming homeless after turning 18.
The funding will provide an immediate response to alleviate current homelessness issues in central Perth.
However, the McGowan Government is developing WA’s first 10-year Homelessness Strategy to provide lasting and evidence based solutions to homelessness.
Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the government recognised the “complexity of this issue” and it was helping support people sleeping rough on the streets.
“The first step in delivering lasting change is to ensure that people – especially those in the Perth CBD – have avenues to help them access the support they need,” Ms McGurk said.
“This funding will allow the Tranby Centre to significantly expand its operating hours, meaning more people experiencing homeless can be referred to the centre, or drop in to get advice, support and assistance as they work to get back on their feet.”
She said it was part of “a much larger effort”.
“This reflects our ongoing commitment to work in partnership with the community sector, to listen to the community and to deliver compassionate and genuine supports to people doing it tough,” she said.
Member for Perth John Carey said the expansion of services would help drive “a more targeted and practical approach”.
“To date, there has been no coordinated city wide approach to homelessness, despite 50 groups working in the City of Perth,” Mr Carey said.
“This is now changing with the roll out of an accreditation system for all homelessness providers and dedicated service precincts.”
“This is a major win for the city and part of our plan to consolidate efforts across CBD and inner city.”