BREAKING BARRIERS: Blue Horizons case worker Sarah Borrett, manager of Wesley Mission Meena Johnson and Family Referral worker Charlotte Robinson.
BREAKING BARRIERS: Blue Horizons case worker Sarah Borrett, manager of Wesley Mission Meena Johnson and Family Referral worker Charlotte Robinson.

Raising awareness for homeless

LOCAL housing and community services groups gathered for the Step Up to Homelessness barbecue in Coffs Harbour this week to promote National Homeless Persons Awareness Week.

Event organisers said more than 100 people from different support services and their clients soaked up the sunshine at Coffs Harbour's Fitzroy Park.

Local musicians Jenny and Havier played soothing acoustics while Caffeine Rush Coffee and Food provided a hot cuppa and the combined community services cooked up a barbecue lunch and fruit.

Sanitary packs, swags, new clothes and blankets were distributed.

Zonta also donated 10 sleeping bags for local homeless people.

For more than six years Wesley Mission manager Meena Johnston has helped organise the event.

"The main focus is getting the community aware and have our clients share in a meal with us," she said.

Coffs Harbour local Jim, who wished to remain anonymous, is living in an unstable situation and said it was "heartening" to see that people cared.

"Sometimes I don't have anywhere permanent to stay so I struggle a bit, that's the hardest part about here, there isn't enough work.

"The nice thing about coming to these events is all the lovely people who give their time, usually for free."

It's difficult living situations like Jim's that fall under the definition of homeless said Family Referral Worker, Charlotte Robinson.

"We do have a homelessness issue, mostly they're couch surfing at friends houses or relatives houses or sleeping on the floor."

If you are in an unstable living situation or are concerned about someone at risk of homelessness call Link2home on 1800 152 152.



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