Tweed homeless revealed

THERE are 186 homeless people on the Tweed, including 93 in Tweed Heads, according to a paper tabled in the New South Wales Parliament.

The shocking results come from an analysis of the 2006 national census and an overview of the Federal Government's white paper on homelessness.

The white paper, which aims to halve homelessness by 2020 and offer supported accommodation to all “rough sleepers” who require it, will be the focus of the NSW Government's strategic framework into homelessness.

Homelessness NSW chief executive officer Sue Cripps said the revelation of those on the Tweed sleeping rough was an alarming number.

“It's not acceptable,” Ms Cripps said. “This proves that homelessness is everywhere, not just in the big cities but in regional areas such as Tweed.”

Ms Cripps said the report will help shape the NSW Government's plan against homelessness, which was released last May with a final plan to be finalised later this year.

“The first results from this will be used to help the government de- velop a responsible plan to help tackle the issue,” she said.

Homelessness NSW is the central contact point for information and resources concerning adult homelessness in NSW.

According to the briefing paper, most homeless people are male, 45 to 54 or over 65 years of age.

“There are some people really struggling out in Tweed,” Ms Cripps said.

“We would expect Tweed to have more people rough sleeping because the weather is better there. But it's still not acceptable” she said.

Another report due later in the year will further document the rough conditions of homeless people.

“I think the results are interesting and they definitely require more analysis,” Ms Cripps said.

“It will break down the facts even further and show just how many people are sleeping in what condition and locations.”

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its Counting the Homeless Report, there are approximately 104,676 people homeless in the country, including 27,374 from NSW.

Further south, the report revealed that Byron Shire has 116 people sleeping rough, while Lismore has 92.

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