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Email Link   Homelessness

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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the local contacts for homelessness?

Housing NSW

1800 152 152 (Free Call)
Link2Home Fact Sheet (43kB PDF)

Housing NSW

1800 422 322
(07) 5524 0666 Tweed Heads Office Us/


Community Housing
Single application form to apply for housing managed by Housing NSW and community housing providers through Housing Pathways.


1300 355 305
Homelessness Assistance Line
This service specialises in providing assistance to Aboriginal people experiencing domestic violence, homelessness and prevention.
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

Connecting Home

For persons seeking support, information or advocacy about housing issues.
Freecall:  1800 048 310
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm

Tenancy advice and information

NSW Fair Trading
13 32 20

Northern Rivers Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service

Phone: 02 6621 1022  Free call: 1800 649 135
Supports social housing tenants and some private rental tenants.
Mon-Wed 9.00am to 4.00pm
Thur 2.00pm to 4.00pm, evenings by appointment
Northern Rivers CLC

Tenants NSW
Provides information to tenants in social housing, private rentals, boarders and lodgers and residential park residents.

Tenants Advice Line

Freecall:  1800 251 101
Monday 10.00am to 1.00pm, 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Law Access NSW (including legal aid information)

1300 888 529
Law Access NSW
Last Updated: 19 November 2018