The BROHS Project (Bushfire Recovery Outreach Homelessness Support)
The story so far …
In partnership with NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and the South East Woman’s & Children’s Service (SEWACS) we are working towards a shared goal of creating resilient and inclusive communities.
In the 2021 Rough Sleepers Street Count, it was identified that levels of homelessness had increased in Southern NSW since the 2019 Black Summer fires. There were hundreds of homes destroyed during the fires and this had significant impacts on homelessness in this already vulnerable region. Reduction of available housing led to an increased pressure on an already limited rental market which was additionally affected during Covid when an influx of renters and buyers moved to regional areas from Sydney and Canberra. These factors have meant that our region’s most vulnerable people have been even further disadvantaged.
In early 2022, after identifying the marked increase in the number of local people sleeping rough at local campsites and ‘couch surfing’, The Family Place were successful in an application for Commonwealth funding via the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants scheme. The funding enables our service to provide the people identified as needing assistance, with more assertive and intensive support.
The initial scoping, consultation and outreach process (that was undertaken as part of the funding application) identified rough sleeping communities of concern at local campsites. Current funding is now providing the necessary supports, including workers skilled in assertive outreach who are undertaking regular outreach, community and relationship building activities as well as hosting psychosocial group supports.
The Family Place are providing a broad range of supports in order to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families. By working with homeless clients in addressing a range of complex psychosocial and economic factors, our team are contributing to removing barriers which prevent people from accessing housing.