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People are considered homeless when they are without accommodation that is safe, secure, appropriate and affordable.

Homelessness can result from a range of many factors including unemployment, poverty, cultural disadvantage, ill health and particularly poor mental health.

The NSW Department of Family and Community ServicesHousing NSW has developed a Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places.

The Protocol provides a framework for interactions between Council officers, officials of participating NSW Government organisations and homeless people in public places.

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.


Services that can assist include:

Southern Highlands Homelessness Services

Ph: 02 4861 4847

Upfront Youth Services (Homeless service for young people 12 - 18yrs) 

Ph: 1800 074 922 or email

Argyle Housing

Ph: 02 4861 2753 or email

Link 2 Home (Homelessness NSW)
Ph. 1800 152 152

After Hours Temporary Accommodation Line - Link2home

1800 152 152 (free call)

The Illawarra and South Coast Tenants Services (ISCTAAS)
Ph. 4274 3475 or 1800 807 225

Last Updated: March 29th, 2019
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