Homelessness in Australia is an increasing issue. On any given night, 1 in every 200 people are homeless. In NSW, this equates to 105,237 people or 40.8 per 10,000 people. Homelessness does not necessarily fit the image that some may have of someone sleeping rough on the street, in a park, in the bush or on a river bank.
Homelessness can be separated into three categories:
- Primary homelessness includes people without conventional accommodation such as living on the streets, sleeping in cars, in deserted buildings, improved or substandard dwellings, under bridges, in parks etc.
- Secondary homelessness includes people moving frequently between various forms of temporary shelter including staying with friends and relatives, couch surfing, in emergency accommodation, youth refuges, hostels and boarding houses on a short term basis (12 weeks or less);
- Tertiary homelessness includes people living in boarding houses (or similar) on a medium to long term basis (13 weeks or longer). Residents do not have separate bedrooms and living rooms, they do not have a kitchen or bathroom facility of their own; their accommodation is not self-contained; and they do not have security of tenure provided by a lease.
In the Tweed Shire there are several places where the homeless community can have a free meal. Please see the downloads sidebar for a schedule of days and times. Those who are experiencing homelessness and hardship can also visit the Murwillumbah Community Centre - Nullum House, or Fred's Place in Tweed Heads during operating hours for a range of homeless related support services.
A new pamphlet has been produced by the Tweed Shire Housing & Homelessness Network listing the Support Services and Food Distribution Services in Tweed Shire, Gold Coast and Northern Rivers. Please download the pamphlet from the sidebar.
Events and Activities Supported
Youth Homelessness Matters Day
Youth Homelessness Matters Day, held each year during National Youth Week, aims to raise public awareness about youth homelessness and celebrate the resilience of young people who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness in Australia.
Committees, Interagency, Networks and Working Groups
The role of Council's Community Development Officer - Families and Youth and Community Development Officer - Social Planning is to advocate for homeless people across the Shire.
The Tweed Shire Housing and Homelessness Network aims to build an innovative and integrated housing and homeless service system in the Tweed Shire, through maximising opportunities to address homelessness and housing needs at all levels, including government, service providers, community and those most at risk in our region. Meetings occur the first Thursday of every month commencing at 9.30am to 11.30am rotating between Murwillumbah Community Centre and The Family Centre, Tweed Heads.
Policy and Strategic Documents
A range of policies and strategic documents are used to guide engagement and planning for homeless people across the Tweed Shire. These include the Community Profile, Census data, Issues Papers, Policy and Social Plan.