Media Release

Ending Homelessness - Philip Mangano visits Sydney

13 May 2008

Philip Mangano arrived in Sydney today. Mr Mangano, who is the Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, brings his unique and powerful message to Australia. “It is time to end chronic homelessness.”

Mr Mangano, who was appointed by the US President to his role, has spent the past five years actively encouraging cities and communities across the USA to implement plans to end homelessness in their communities. So far, more than 300 communities have made that commitment and have put in place practical plans to make it a reality.

These ’10 year plans to end homelessness’ cover a range of areas, including prevention, early intervention, assistance to families and helping chronically homeless people to leave the streets for permanent supportive housing.

The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia have sponsored Mr Mangano’s travel to Australia and he will be visiting most States and Territories over the next couple of weeks. Mr Mangano will be meeting with State and Federal Ministers during his trip.

In Sydney he will be the special guest at an important ‘Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness’ with senior government and non-government officials. This forum is being held on Wednesday 14 May at the Sydney Masonic Centre and is jointly hosted by the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW and the Mercy Foundation.

Felicity Reynolds, CEO of the Mercy Foundation stated that “the Roundtable Discussion will be the best opportunity for key people in government departments to hear the practical ways by which they are successfully tackling homelessness in the United States.”

“I am looking forward to Mr Mangano throwing the NSW Government a real challenge; to take steps to end homelessness in our State.

“Not only does NSW have inadequate affordable housing, it doesn’t have enough services to help support people in their own homes. These types of support programs can prevent, as well as help to permanently end homelessness” said the Mercy Foundation CEO.

The Mercy Foundation, a philanthropic organisation of the North Sydney Sisters of Mercy, has recently made a commitment to re-focus the Foundation on programs which address and end chronic homelessness.

For further information please contact Felicity Reynolds on 02 9699 8726