To mark this year's homelessness week (August 4-10), Lithgow Community Projects (LCP) hosted a morning tea for local service providers on Wednesday, August 7.
This year's theme is 'Housing ends Homelessness'.
LCP manager Dee Kinney said the event was an opportunity for local services to network with workers who are on the frontline of the homelessness crisis and be provided with information on current services available in the Lithgow area.
"Homelessness week is an annual, nation wide event to highlight the work of the homelessness sector and raise awareness of the effects of homelessness on individuals and the community as a whole.
"We held the morning tea to increase awareness about homelessness at a national and local level and the impacts on people and to provide services with an opportunity to network with each other," she said.
Ms Kinney said last Census night (2016) 116,000 Australians were homeless and seven per cent of those sleep rough.
"It tells us the majority of homelessness is hidden with people staying in various other forms of accommodation such as crisis centres, temporary accommodation, couch surfing and so on," she said.
She said LCP had experienced an unprecedented demand over the past five years.
"There is a high demand and over the past 12 months we have provided 7608 bed nights across our different accommodation services," she said.
Ms Kinney said there were often multiple causes as to why someone becomes homeless including domestic violence, trauma, financial troubles, discrimination, mental illness and inter-generational disadvantage.
"At LCP were are focused on providing services to help those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in the Lithgow LGA," she said.
She said a range of community services have come together and built partnerships to achieve quality outcomes.
"LCP believe that a collaborative approach is required when working with such complexity and would like to acknowledge and thank our many community partners who work along side us and people who we work with," she said.
Family and Community Services (FACS) representative Barry Sansom attended the morning tea and explained that homelessness was one of the key factors FACS dealt with.
"We are only one package in solving homelessness, we need to look broader and use all services in the Lithgow community to help them, we need to look at other methods and help stop the cycle," he said.
Mr Sansom said the earlier services treat clients, the better the outcome.
"We need to know the story of our clients, the more they can tell us the more easier it us for us to make a decision, they need all the support they can get.
"If we can't assist them then they're going to remain homeless.
"We need to help them to get motivated to help themselves and get into private rental properties," he said.
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