Specialist Homelessness Services
The Specialist Homelessness Services program (SHS) is a Commonwealth/state funded program which provides funding for a range of support and accommodation services to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including women and children affected by domestic violence.
These services include case management, support, outreach, advocacy, practical assistance and supported accommodation services, as well as linkages to other services such as health and housing.
National Affordable Housing Agreement
The new National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), replaces all previous housing and homelessness support agreements between the Commonwealth and the states and territories, including the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program, from 1 January 2009.
Community Services will continue to deliver the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program in NSW under the new NAHA.
For more information about NAHA, see the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) fact sheet.
Performance monitoring framework
The framework describes the approach Community Services will use for monitoring performance. See the Performance Monitoring Framework page for user guide, self assessment templates and sample letters.
Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places
The Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places is a formal agreement between government organisations, including Community Services, who have an operational presence in public places, or who provide a service to assist homeless people.
The aim of the Protocol, which was endorsed in October 2012, is to ensure homeless people are treated respectfully and appropriately and are not discriminated against on the basis of their homeless status. The Protocol also facilitates a homeless person’s access to housing and support services if they need or request them.
The Protocol states that a homeless person should be left alone unless:
- they request assistance;
- they appear to be distressed or in need of assistance;
- their behaviour or where they are seeking shelter threatens their or others’ safety;
- their behaviour is likely to result in damage to property or the environment;
- they are a child who appears to be under the age of 16;
- they are a young person who appears to be 16 to 17 years old who may be at risk of significant harm; or
- they are a child or young person who is in the care of the Director-General of the Department of Family and Community Services or the parental responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services.
Guidelines for Implementation have been developed to support state-wide awareness of the Protocol.
Housing & Mental Health Agreement
The Housing and Mental Health Agreement is a formal partnership between NSW Health and the FACS, which was signed in August 2011.
The Agreement replaces the “Joint Guarantee of Service for People with Mental Health Problems and Disorders Living in Aboriginal, Community and Public Housing (JGOS)”.
The Agreement aims to improve housing outcomes and the general well-being of people with mental health issues who are living in social housing, or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Agreement does not involve establishing a new program or service. Rather it builds on existing strengths in the way government agencies and NGOs work together to provide local services so that people can access the full range of services available to them.
The Agreement will be implemented through Housing and Mental Health District Implementation and Coordinating Committees (DIACCs), which align with Local Health Districts.