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Media release –
New South Wales

155 Census Collectors hit the streets of Penrith

29 July 2011 | NSW/67

155 Census Collectors will hit the streets of Penrith today to deliver Census forms to every home in the area and ensure every person is accurately counted on Census night, Tuesday, 9 August.

Leanne Armstrong has joined the Census team for the first time this year as a Special Area Supervisor and is responsible for counting those in the Penrith local government who do not have a home.

Leanne says she is aiming to get an accurate count of homelessness so that decision makers can plan support services in the right locations.

"I see my role as identifying the hotspots where homeless people are sleeping. I'm doing all that I can do to get true numbers of homelessness in our area," Leanne says.

Leanne is managing a team of six Special Census Collectors who have been split into three teams - the A Team will look after the hotspots for rough sleepers, the B Team will look after food services and the C Team will look after the Soup Kitchen at Penrith PCYC - to ensure that all her corners are covered.

"It may be challenging to get an accurate count of couch surfers, who are often referred to as the 'invisible homeless.' There may also be some families who live in cars that are hard to find.

"I’m not anticipating much resistance as we are going about it the right way. My team includes people who have worked in the homeless sector for some time and some have been rough sleepers themselves."

Leanne also works at the Nepean Youth Homelessness Service with young people who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

"We coach them in living skills and the routine of life - laundry, showers, rent - basic things that we all take for granted," adds Leanne.

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census or by calling the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 338 776

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