Between 2012 and 2014 the NSW Government developed a reform agenda, known as Going Home Staying Home (GHSH) for the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Program. GHSH was infomed by a review of national and international policy development in govenment responses to homelessness, including the learnings from four years of National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) projects in NSW.
GHSH formed the framework for the development of new contracts for SHS services. Contracts were awarded through a competitive tendering process, the first time that tendering was used to allocate service contracts in the SHS sector.
SHS contracts were significantly restructured, including changes to areas of coverage, client focus, service coordination and design. Also, the number of SHS contracts was reduced from 394 to 149 across NSW.
GHSH is a comprehensive revision of all aspects of homelessness service delivery. Accordingly, it was anticipated that agencies delivering services under the new contracts would benefit from assistance in developing new systems, policies and skills. To meet this need, the SHS Sector Development Project was established by the Industry Partnership, with the support of the FACS.
In June 2014 the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton, announced the successful tenderers for funding assistance for the 149 SHS service packages across NSW, which aim to provide a broad mix of services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
FACS has established a web page for Going Home Staying Home which contains fact sheets, resources and other relevant information on the progress of SHS service establishment.