The Upper Hunter is a divided economic zone according to frontline workers in the community sector.
While many people are reaping the benefits particularly from well paid resource industry jobs others are faced with economic hardships including homelessness.
Local homeless support services have resorted to handing out tents to deal with the Upper Hunter's homeless crisis, as the NSW Government today claimed that all homeless people in the state could access accommodation.
Lewis Millington-Plazey, General Manager, Upper Hunter Homelessness Service said "It's a multi speed economy here in the Upper Hunter. Some people are making a fortune and many others are sleeping under the bridge, or in the park, or in their cars."
"There are shutdowns on at a power station and a mine right now and that means we can't put people into any of the hotels or caravan parks we often use for temporary emergency housing because they are all full of out-of-town workers.
"We're funded to work with 442 people per year and we're seeing double that. And funding for those services hasn't changed since 2014, when there was no data on homelessness in the Upper Hunter at all.
"We have access to nine properties across the entire Upper Hunter to house 800-900 people per year. On top of that we have landlords charging $400 per room on the private rental market, meaning they are totally out of reach for anyone on JobSeeker or a pension."
Labor candidate for Upper Hunter Jeff Drayton said local homeless support workers were at their wits end as they struggle to address growing demand.
"This Government either doesn't know about the homelessness crisis in the Upper Hunter, or it doesn't care," said Mr Drayton.
"Our region sends billions down to Sydney, but we have people in the Hunter sleeping in cars, under bridges or on couches. It breaks my heart to hear that people in the Upper Hunter are being given tents because there just aren't the beds being made available.
"They have my commitment that I will fight tooth and nail for the Upper Hunter to receive the funding we need to provide emergency accommodation to everyone who needs it.
"We generate plenty of wealth for NSW, no-one should be sleeping rough."
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