Just three people are sleeping rough on the streets of Armidale and Tamworth and it's Homes North's job to keep it that way.
Homes North will roll out the state government's $36 million 'Together Home scheme through the New England area, it was announced this week.
CEO Maree McKenzie said the program will mean, for the first time, Homes North will have the resources and the time to help every last homeless person in the region.
"It's an intense job," she said.
"It's coordinating services for clients that often fall through the gaps. And they fall through the gaps because they don't fit into criteria very neatly or they're difficult to sometimes engage.
"Sometimes they've lost their job and have a serious medical condition, it's a whole range. It's generally not one thing it's a multiplier of different challenges that make it really difficult."
It's the people with the most problems, often people with multiple health or social problems plus disability, who tend to find themselves homeless most often, who would ordinarily fall through the cracks of government bureaucracy and get the least assistance, she said.
But COVID-19 has forced government to take the problem seriously. Street-sleeping was virtually eliminated in the New England during the coronavirus lockdown as a public health measure, with government concerned rough-sleepers could become a vector for COVID-19.
Of 40 rough sleepers in the area, 23 of them are already living in homes with 13 of them in temporary accommodation like motels.
Some of them have been rotating in and out of accommodation for decades. Others slept their first night on the streets just weeks ago.
But with 2 years of guaranteed funding for 20 rental units, the new scheme will give Homes North the time and the resources to be able to break the back of those chronic programs, Ms McKenzie said.
She vowed that none of them will sleep another night on the streets if she can help it.
But there are still 3 people sleeping rough in the region.
"It may be fear, you've got to remember that people may have adapted, that's what they know. They know rough sleeping.
"People might say if that's what they want, sleeping outside, great. Well, let's try sleeping outside when it's minus 3."