Jake Zahner (left) and Allan Cooke (right) from Big Country Meats provide sausages free of charge to Himona Remana (middle) and his barbecue for the homeless.
Jake Zahner (left) and Allan Cooke (right) from Big Country Meats provide sausages free of charge to Himona Remana (middle) and his barbecue for the homeless.

Himona is on the hunt for a new home

AFTER being shut down, Himona Remana has wasted no time making plans to revive his breakfast for the homeless.

He was devastated to be given his marching orders from Park Avenue by Coffs Harbour City Council who cited a number of reasons including an increase in alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour near the carpark and bus stop and the impact on pedestrians and public transport users.

"I was devastated in lots of ways. The ironic thing about it is we reap what we sow. People with money would come past and give to those who haven't got money; and say 'sure I'll pay for that' so it was kind of self-funded," Himona said.

"The model just worked really well.

"Long gone are the days when Council used to help their citizens."

He was operating the barbecue under a licence held by the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church but that licence has now been revoked. Excess donations went to homelessness support services co-ordinated by the Church.

Not to be deterred he has been in touch with Council to pursue other options.

"They wanted to put me down near the pool but the bottom line is we need (pedestrian) traffic and cover."

His suggestion of reviving the barbecue at the grassed area across from Fresco behind Coffs Central has been rejected.

One positive is that Allan Cooke from Big Country Meats has agreed to provide sausages free of charge when Himona does get the barbecue back up and running.

"Homelessness is a major issue in this town and if people ignore it, it will be very detrimental to our town."

Allan has owned Big Country Meats for eight years and in that time, he says the situation has worsened.

"There has been an increase in the number of people in need. We support a lot of charity causes but there are a lot of other businesses doing a lot of good things who remain nameless and stay very low key."

Himona knows what it's like to be homeless spending time on the streets and in temporary accommodation in the Coffs Harbour area.

He was volunteering for Legacy driving the op-shop delivery truck when a flat in Sawtell finally came up.

"The angels there helped me find that place and I've been there 13 years now."

At one stage Himona operated his barbecue outside the Aldi store in Toormina.

"There was one manager who was very supportive but then he left and a new manager came in who didn't want the barbecue there.

"Something will come up eventually be it through Council or private business.

"Homelessness is a global problem but a community fix and it can be done - you just need the whole community to do it, especially Council."

If you can assist Himona contact him on 0428 597 805 or email spotta51@hotmail.com



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