Hardship and Homelessness Services

Central Coast Council is committed to supporting vulnerable people, including people experiencing hardship or homelessness in our community. As part of the Central Coast Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy, actions have been created to assist in the prevention of homelessness. The Strategy was adopted by Council in 2019 and will be implemented over the next 10 years.

Emergency Food and Financial Services

Emergency Food Services Card

As part of Council’s ongoing efforts to battle financial hardship across the region, the Emergency Food Services Card provides a quick, simple database of local organisations that offer emergency services such as food hampers, discount vouchers and free meals. These services can be accessed by anyone in need and include contact numbers, addresses and referral information.   

Both a northern and southern Emergency Food Services Card have been produced to assist those in need to find the most localised support. The northern card displays food services in the former Wyong Local Government Area and the southern card displays food services in the former Gosford Loval Government Area. Many providers and businesses across the Central Coast make the cards available to clients and the public and are available to anyone who is experiencing hardship and or wants to offer free food to others.

Financial Services Card

The Financial Services Card lists services on the Central Coast that provide the community with financial assistance services such as financial counselling, EAPA Vouchers and other coupons. The financial services card displays services across the Central Coast Local Government Area and are available to anyone who is experiencing hardship and or wants to offer financial support to others.

Participating service providers

Council distributes hard copies of these cards to over 100 locations on the Coast, including Neighbourhood Centres, Centrelink Offices and Homelessness Support Services. To request hard copies of the cards for distribution, please complete the Crisis Relief Services Distribution Enquiry form.

To be listed on the card as a supplier, please complete the Crisis Relief Services enquiry form and tell us about the service your organisation provides.

For more information or to provide feedback, please email crisisrelief@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.

Central Coast Council updates this information each year to make sure the service details are as accurate as possible. Information included in this guide was correct at time of publication (February 2020).

Homelessness

To ensure people experiencing street homelessness are treated with dignity and respect, Central Coast Council works with outreach providers to help support positive outcomes such as food, accommodation, health and welfare needs. In line with the NSW Government’s current Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places, Council also acknowledges the right that people experiencing street homelessness or rough sleepers have to be in the public space; if they are not harming themselves or others.

If you see someone sleeping rough and in need of assistance, you can contact Council’s Community and Cultural Programs team through ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.

If you are concerned for the immediate health, safety or wellbeing of the person or those around them please contact the police or ambulance on by dialing 000.

How Council responds to the issue

When Council receives a report of camping (tent, caravan or car) or a suspected vulnerable person on Council land, our Rangers visit the site and engage with the individuals.

If the person states they are homeless and require assistance, Council Officers will link them with Specialist Homelessness Services. These services provide outreach support with the aim of assisting the person to find suitable and sustainable accommodation. Rough sleepers often have complex needs which can mean that interventions take longer and more effort than expected. Specialist Homeless Services are experts in this area and uphold the best-interests of the vulnerable person.

It is important to remember that rough sleepers have the same rights as other members of the community and should not be discriminated against due to their homeless status. They will not be moved on from public spaces unless there is a threat to general safety, their personal safety or if they are causing a disturbance that constitutes a breach of peace.

Link2Home  

Link2Home is a phone information and referral service for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Link2Home will provide information about where you can find support, accommodation, meals and showers.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you require support, call: 1800 152 152.

Ask Izzy

Ask Izzy is a website and app that connects people who are in crisis with the services that they need.

Learn more

Increase your awareness and learn more about homelessness by visiting the Homelessness Australia and Council to Homeless Persons websites.

Hardship

Central Coast Council recognises that in cases of genuine financial hardship, assistance may be required in respect to payment of rates and charges. Ratepayers who are experiencing genuine financial hardship and are eligible for assistance should refer to our Rebates and hardship assistance page to find out how to apply for assistance.

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Last updated : Mon 15 Feb 2021