Homeless Connect event on weekly


Homeless Connect has offered a platform for services to come together and offer people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to seek assistance.

Story appeared in: Torch | September 26th, 2017



BANKSTOWN'S large multicultural demographic makes homelessness a different and complex issue to address when compared to other parts of Sydney.
Organisers of Bankstown's third Homeless Connect, says there is a lot of stigma and shame attached to homelessness among the non-English speaking residents of the area, which keeps Bankstown off the radar.
Homeless Connect, held at Bankstown Salvation Army on September 12, was a platform for services to come together and offer people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to seek assistance.
The services represented included Specialist Housing, Centrelink, Social Welfare, Mental Health, Legal, Financial and Counselling support.
Partners in Recovery and One Door Health partnered with South West District Health to create the initiative.
Partners in Recovery's Hunena Khan says homelessness is not predominantly dressed in the stereotypical form of 'rough sleeping' spots, but rather a lingering fear or struggle, couch surfing and car sleeping.
People are often directed from one service to another, which can become overwhelming, leading them to fall through the cracks, and give up.
"There is a lack of understanding and awareness," Hunena said.
"We need to de-stigmatise the conversation surrounding homelessness in Bankstown."
Close to 100 people have attended the three Homeless Connect events, prompting an ongoing advice hub to take place every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm at the Salvation Army outlet in Bankstown.
Henry Lim from South West Sydney Health, said there was a vibrant, friendly market feel to the day, as an array of stalls lined a side alley offering free haircuts, massage and makeup, a wellness space for women, free coffee, pantries and a free sausage sizzle.



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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mark Kirkland | Story ID: 131498 | Viewcount: 6235

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