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.

TheĀ NSW Department of Family and Community Services,Ā Housing NSWĀ has developed a protocol for Homeless People in Public Places. The protocolĀ provides a framework for interactions between Council officers, officials of participating NSW Government organisations and homeless people in public places.


TheĀ 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 othersā€™ 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 theĀ Department of Family and Community ServicesĀ or the parental responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services


Services that can assist include: