Western Sydney Homeless Connect (WSHC) was founded in 2013, inspired by the success of the Sydney Homeless Connect (SHC) event based in Sydney Town Hall since 2010. Steve Butel and Barry Gobbes, along with the support of the City of Parramatta, the SHC team, and a group of dedicated volunteers, pulled together the inaugural WSHC with an aim of connecting people experiencing homelessness in the Western Sydney area with the support of frontline services. Gathering support from housing, legal and government services, the team have a common goal of providing a safe space for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Five years has passed, and WSHC now reaches more than 1500 people on one day, connecting support providers with individuals and families to help them break out of the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage.


“A lot of people in need just don't know where to go for support.”

steve butel | WSHC co-founder 


How are we helping?

The success of WSHC relies entirely on the work of volunteers and donations in the form of gifts and services from individuals and private sector organisations. Our mission is to connect available services with people looking for support and guidance.


Our Team

The Western Sydney Homeless Connect Steering Committee is the key body within the governance structure, and is responsible for the business operations that are essential to delivering the outputs and attainment of WSHC outcomes. This includes approving the budgetary strategy, fundraising strategy, defining and realising outcomes, monitoring risks, quality and timelines, making policy and resourcing decisions, and assessing requests for changes to the scope of the WSHC operations and calendar.

All Steering Committee members volunteer their time to be part of Western Sydney Homeless Connect.

The Steering Committee which will take on this role from 2018-20 include St Vincent de Paul NSW, Parramatta Mission, Evolve Housing, Transport NSW, CentreLink, FACS, Housing NSW, Rapid Relief, Western Sydney University and Settlement Services International.


Steve Butel


Steve Butel has been involved in helping the homeless on a volunteer basis since 2007. 

His WSHC journey began when a friend and then-homeless man took him on a tour through the streets of Sydney city and Kings Cross in the early hours of the morning, opening his eyes to the real plight of the homeless. Since then, Steve has been an active supporter of the homeless community, particularly in Western Sydney, serving meals in Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park for several years and raising money to buy Swags for Homeless backpack beds. In 2013, Steve and Barry Gobbe formed the Western Sydney Homeless Connect and led a team of passionate volunteers to plan and run the first Western Sydney Homeless Connect event in Parramatta.