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St Vincent's partnered with End Street Sleeping Collaboration, City of Sydney, Jesuit Refugee Service, Homelessness NSW and others, in calling for a range of reforms, including federal and state government action to give non-residents access to government-funded services when in crisis; opening pathways to allow for non-residents to apply for permanent residency; and financial aid for organisations to assist this vulnerable group with housing and employment support.
Data shows that approximately one-fifth of Sydney's rough-sleeping population are non-residents. Non-resident refugees, asylum seekers, foreign students, and undocumented non-citizens are currently ineligible for Medicare-funded healthcare, emergency shelter, and other government supports because of their visa status. This makes them one of the city’s most vulnerable groups, and wholly reliant on philanthropically-funded charities for food and other essentials.
Shelter, food and access to health care are basic human rights.
It’s now time for the state and federal governments to work together with organisations like ours to come up with permanent solutions to this issue.
Read more about the plight of non-resident people experiencing homelessness in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Joe Truman is a non-resident man experiencing homelessness in Sydney