Geoff Provest has been labelled a 'champion' by his collegues for addressing the issue of rough sleepers on the Tweed.
Geoff Provest has been labelled a 'champion' by his collegues for addressing the issue of rough sleepers on the Tweed. Marc Stapelberg

Government's $5.1M plan for the homeless

IT IS the move which the NSW government hopes will slash homeless rates and silence the critics of Geoff Provest.

The state government announced last week it will be investing $5.1million to expand its assertive outreach homelessness services in Tweed Heads and surrounding areas.

The program has been running in Sydney since 2017, with records indicating 400 people who were sleeping rough now having a roof over their heads.

"We know that assertive outreach helps build trusting relationships with people who may not feel comfortable or empowered to ask for help," Tweed MP Geoff Provest said.

"Very soon, people sleeping rough will start to see the friendly faces of homelessness outreach workers on the streets. These workers will be there to help find people safe a long-term housing as quickly as possible.

"Many people sleeping rough have chronic health problems, so our outreach will include health care coordination and post-crisis support."

The new initiative is hoped to contribute with the Premier's ambition of ending rough-sleeping in the state by 2030.

Minister for families, communities and disability services, Gareth Ward, was glowing of Mr Provest when discussing the policy, stating the Tweed MP was at the forefront of tackling homelessness in the region.

"Geoff has been a champion on this issue and I want to sincerely commend him for his advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people in his community," Mr Ward said.

"This is part of a concerted effort to address all of the issues that may be preventing someone from holding on to long-term housing."

The announcement comes after Tweed Shire Council announced its willingness to move forward with an affordable housing scheme, due to a lack of policy form the Berejiklian-government.

Council will spend $80,000 on a concept plan for the Smart, Sustainable Homes project, put forth by councillor Ron Cooper.

Cr Cooper said his idea would contain 100 'tiny homes', while the state government's announcement did not mention how many rough-sleepers in the region the $5.1million over three years hoped to assist.