How people experiencing homelessness are coping with lockdown

July 28, 2021

People experiencing homeless in Sydney are once again being afforded the opportunity to self-isolate in hotel-style accommodation during this second lockdown.

For residents who are part of the Haymarket Foundation’s crisis accommodation facility, social distancing is being optimised with 10 residents being moved to nearby apartments with cooking and other facilities for independent living.

Seven of our most vulnerable clients remain on-site at our facility in Chippendale, with fewer people using shared facilities and less risk of infection.

Our frontline staff remain on-site around the clock, to ensure clients remain safe and their health and accommodation needs are maintained.

Similarly, at least one staff member with the residential rehabilitation program, the Bourke Street Program, is on-site on weekdays during office hours.


The majority of our services for people experiencing homelessness and those with alcohol and other drugs have gone digital.

This time, the transition has been smoother, with clients and staff more used to using phones and screens for services.

Case managers are in constant contact with their residents to ensure that their health needs are met, their accommodation remains stable and the long-term objectives of the client remain on track.

People who are part of the Drug and Alcohol Counselling Service are consistently showing up for their appointments.

“The majority of people – even those who have experienced or are at-risk of homelessness – still have mobile phones, so we are able operate effectively that way,” says clinical psychologist Carlos Duarte, who runs the service.

“It’s been great to see that people want to continue with their treatment even during really difficult times,” he notes.

OzHarvest continue to give hampers and deliver frozen meals to many of our clients.

Additionally, the Sydney Local Health District has provided packets of masks and hand sanitiser, which are being used by residents.

Some clients in our services have already been vaccinated, with the Haymarket Foundation committed to offering vaccination to all others as soon as an appointment becomes available.

The Haymarket Foundation works for months and sometimes years to help people find a permanent home. Your generous support can help stop the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage: thank you!