Cleaning up growing homelessness problems
AN increase in homelessness in Tweed Heads is being blamed for a spike in anti-social behaviour, which recently resulted in a motel owner and the Tweed Shire Council having to clean up human waste.
A motel on Wharf St lodged a complaint with the council over the incident, which involved bedding, garbage and a cup of urine left in their undercover car park and human waste at a vacant site next door.
Two weeks ago a council worker was dispatched to assist the business clean up, but could not complete the task of removing the human excrement next door because it was on private property.
The council believes the vacant NSW Government construction site which will eventually house a new court and police station, has become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.
Local agencies said homelessness on the Tweed has increased over the past 12 months due to family breakdown, domestic violence, drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, cost of living pressures, and a lack of crisis accommodation and affordable housing.
A homeless person has told the Tweed Daily News that policing was more relaxed in our region compared to the Gold Coast, while other groups claimed good charity work attracted the homeless.
"We have contacted local police to request that the site be better secured to prevent people accessing it and to manage any anti-social behaviour happening around this site and the businesses in that area," a council spokesperson said.
"(The) council is attempting to manage the difficult and complex issue of homelessness in a sensitive way and to encourage people who find themselves homeless to access local support services.
"There is traditionally an increase in people "sleeping rough" in Tweed through winter as people seek our milder climate.
"Council has recently published our draft Homelessness Policy which has just come off public exhibition and will go to council for approval in October."
Illegal or anti-social behaviour should be reported to police.