Time for action: You Have a Friend founder John Lee says Tweed Heads’ Whitehall Lodge is a viable option for a desperately needed drop-in centre.
Time for action: You Have a Friend founder John Lee says Tweed Heads’ Whitehall Lodge is a viable option for a desperately needed drop-in centre.

Tweed's homeless abandoned

TWEED’S homeless have been left in the cold for another year, according to charity founder John Lee.

The You Have a Friend charity founder said the State Government’s homeless budget had not adequately reached the Tweed.

“Last year Tweed was given less than one per cent of the $69 million budget, and the second year of the five-year plan has not been made available,” Mr Lee said.

“Most of the funding has gone to the Sydney and Hunter regions. People whinge about seeing all these people on the street, but it’s because they have nowhere else to go.

“Tweed Heads does not have a drop-in centre where services can be accessed easily.”

Mr Lee said Whitehall Lodge, currently for sale in Stuart Street, was an option, but NSW Housing Minister Frank Terenzini had to be convinced it was viable.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest, who has worked with Mr Lee for the past 18 months on the issue, said the “Sydney-centric” funding was disgusting. “We formed a committee last year with people in the Tweed and have commitment from Kingscliff TAFE as well as a number of local suppliers,” Mr Provest said.

“The problem with getting anything off the ground is we’ve had three different housing ministers in a short time and we have had delay after delay.”

Three senior bureaucrats from the Department of Housing will examine the lodge in July. To volunteer with the charity phone 0402 808727 or visit www.you haveafriend.org.au



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