Sydney Homeless: People Not Statistics

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1st November 2010, 04:31pm - Views: 2072

Community Charity Mercy Foundation 1 image

1 November 2010 

Sydney’s Homeless: People not Statistics

100 surveyed in an effort to speak directly with people who are sleeping rough

Over 80 volunteers hit the streets of inner-city Sydney this morning, surveying nearly 100 people

sleeping rough in an effort to solve chronic homelessness in the city.

For the next two mornings this week the volunteers will head out at dawn to survey people about

their housing and healthcare needs, meeting them where they sleep rough in the parks and other

public spaces of the City of Sydney local government area. 

The volunteers are using a survey tool called the Vulnerability Index, which captures housing, health,

institutional history and other relevant data to build a register of people who are homeless and their

housing and healthcare needs.

The Vulnerability Index is based on research which revealed the key health risk indicators that

someone’s health is being ruined by homelessness. Sydney is the third Australian capital city to use

the Index following Brisbane and Melbourne where efforts are now underway to house and support

the most vulnerable homeless individuals.

The Mercy Foundation has partnered with the City of Sydney and other organisations including the

Way2Home outreach service to conduct Sydney Registry Week. The Salvation Army and Missionbeat

are also providing significant support. The volunteers represent a broad range of people from the


“This is so much more than just knowing the numbers of people who are homeless in our city,” says

Felicity Reynolds, CEO of the Mercy Foundation and Coordinator of Sydney Registry Week.

“This morning we met nearly 100 people who were willing to share their story. We met one older

man who has been homeless for over 40 years. This is simply unacceptable. 

“These are people, not statistics and after this week we will know more about what they need to be

housed and supported so they never become homeless again,” says Felicity.

“This is really exciting and the generosity of the volunteers and the cooperation of so many agencies

is so encouraging. 

This is not an impossible problem: homelessness can be solved. With the right combination of

permanent, affordable, supportive housing, targeted outreach and prevention services, we can end

homelessness in our city,” says Felicity. 

For more information on Sydney Registry Week and how you can help, visit

For more information:

Karyn Walsh

0413 619 875

Helen Styles

0400 331 871

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