Shining a light on epidemic
THE homelessness epidemic facing the nation will be brought to attention at a sleep-out in Murwillumbah this Friday.
Green's candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson will sleep overnight in Knox Park to highlight the issue and will be joined by Green's candidate for Tweed Bill Fenelon.
"The most vulnerable people in Murwillumbah are sleeping rough in Knox Park,” Ms Higginson said.
"It's become renowned as an increasingly unsafe area, with youths setting off petrol bombs recently, loud fights a regular occurrence and residents calling for an increased police presence there after the death of Murwillumbah local Charlie Larter last June.”
Ms Higginson said "cruel economic polices and inaction” had caused a homelessness epidemic with nearly 300,000 people seeking housing assistance last year.
"We are talking about ordinary Australians who are or have been workers, parents and carers suddenly finding themselves homeless after sickness, divorce, or loss of employment,” she said.
"Once homeless, it is extremely difficult to re-establish employment, health or stability and so the cycle deepens.”
Ms Higginson said she wanted to re-establish the Northern Rivers as an innovative leader in low-cost housing developments and would use her experience as a lawyer to do so.
"The Greens believe that housing is a basic human right,” she said.
Ms Higginson will be bringing food and refreshments to Knox Park this Friday, February 15, and said she was hoping to speak to some of the people sleeping rough there every night.