Homelessness is a significant and growing issue in the inner west community and takes many forms including sleeping rough, couch surfing and staying in unstable or overcrowded accommodation.

The drivers of homelessness include a shortage of stable and affordable housing, family violence, long-term unemployment, family breakdown, mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.

Council has developed strong partnerships with a range of homelessness services and state government agencies to address homelessness in our local community. Multi-agency outreach teams walk the streets and parks of the Inner West, mostly around Ashfield and Newtown, and have helped dozens of people to move into their own home. These teams include staff from Inner West Council, Department of Family and Community Services (Housing), Sydney Local Health District, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Missionbeat, Wesley Mission, Youth Off The Streets, NEAMI Way to Home, Launchpad and The Exodus Foundation.  

Multi-agency Outreach

Watch this great multi-agency open discussion on some of the causes of homelessness and what is being done to help.

Meet the team - members of staff from various public, local government and not-for-profit agencies who are out there working collaboratively on the streets reaching out to those doing it tough.


Mental Health First Aid Training

Photo MHFA TrainingNewtown Neighbourhood Centre continues to strengthen the capacity of local residents to make a difference to people experiencing mental illness in the Inner West.

A dedicated team of volunteers who help people sleeping rough and boarding house residents, known as the Newtopian Outreachers and Boarding House Community Linkers, has successfully completed Mental Health First Aid Training. The practical skills gained through this training will better equip the volunteers to approach and support people experiencing mental health issues, and link them to appropriate services. Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and Sydney Local Health District provided this important training during world mental health month in October. Participant feedback was very positive: 'It was one of the best life sill courses I have ever taken. Think, St John's first Aid course for Mental Health. I feel much better equipped to start those important conversations when you have concerns for a friend, family member, workmate or neighbour,' Jane Horvath.

To find out more about Mental Health First Aid Training head over to MHFA Australia's website.

How to Help

Anyone who is concerned about the welfare of a person who is sleeping rough can contact Missionbeat on 1800 306 461.

Homelessness Services 

There are a number of services within the Inner West that are dedicated to assisting people experiencing homelessness.

  • Exodus Foundation
     8752 4600
    180 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield NSW 2131
    Free breakfast and lunch daily, showers, social, medical, welfare and crisis support
  • Lifeline
    13 11 14
    24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention
  • Link2home
    1800 152 152
     24/7 referral to accommodation and services
  • Mental Health Line
    1800 011 511
    24/7 assistance with mental health issues
  • Missionbeat
    1800 306 461
    Outreach, welfare checks, transport to accommodation and services
  • NSW Domestic Violence Line
    1800 656 463
    24/7 referral service
  • Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
    (02) 9564 7333
    Boarding house services and homeless assistance
  • Partners in Recovery
    1800 501 858
    Assists with severe and enduring mental health issues
  • Wesley Homeless Services
    1300 259 789
    Accommodation support, case management services, early intervention and prevention programs
  • Youth off the Streets
    8217 4700
    Comprehensive youth (16-25yrs) homelessness service; youth housing

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Page last updated: 21 May 2020