John Reynolds was part of the team that helped house more than 100 special needs people in the Coffs Harbour area.
John Reynolds was part of the team that helped house more than 100 special needs people in the Coffs Harbour area.

Gold for fixing complex issues



JOHN Reynolds' passion for getting the homeless off Coffs Harbour's streets and into homes has been recognised with a Premier's Award.

Mr Reynolds received a gold NSW Premier's Public Sector Award for his part in the Department of Housing's Coffs Harbour Division's outstanding community project ? Private Rental Brokerage Service for People with Complex Needs.

Sharing in the award was Coffs Harbour Health Campus mental health services' Bill Casey, Lifehouse Care's Andrew Robertson, Department of Housing's Diana Wilson and LJHooker.com's Peter Halem.

The locally developed project helps people with special needs access private sector housing in the Coffs Harbour area.

Mr Reynolds, who was involved in the project as part of Streetside Oasis, said the project has housed 139 people over a two-year period.

"That is a lot of homeless people off the street," Mr Reynolds said.

"What needs to be understood is that people don't just wake up one day and decide to be homeless. There is a tragic story behind every homeless person."

The success of the project has resulted in services extending to Wollongong, Mayfield, Albury and the Newcastle area.

"The moral of the story is that if you see an issue that needs addressing in the community, get out and do some- thing," Mr Reynolds said.



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