Laundry facilities and toiletry kits for the homeless — Fred’s Place, Tweed Heads
A QUEUE of people waiting outside homeless drop-in centre Fred’s Place is testament to the demand for its services.
The Tweed Heads centre had been closed for eight days, as workers laboured to complete renovations which will see better services for those sleeping rough. Fred’s Place today unveiled a new laundry room, featuring three industrial washing machines and driers, along with a new community space. The laundry facility renovations were made possible by $30,000 from the Northern Rivers Community Foundation’s major 2015 grant round. Fred’s Place service manager Jason McDonald welcomed the additions, which will leave the centre better equipped to handle an ever increasing demand.
While Fred’s Place has helped to house hundreds of people, Mr McDonald said new clients were presenting to Fred’s Place each day.
“We’re really excited about being open again,” he said. St Vincent De Paul Lismore diocese president Yvonne Wynen said the renovations would help the service to continue to meet an ever-growing demand
As the recipient of the Northern Rivers Community Foundation’s major grant in 2015 as well as a generous grant from the Community Building Partnership program in 2014 which enabled the renovation of essential office and counselling spaces, Fred’s Place has been able to expand and enhance its facilities to help meet the ever-increasing demand for homeless support services in the Tweed region. “With 5000 loads of washing done at the centre each year, Ms Wynen said the new industrial machines would help to lighten the load.
Northern Rivers Community Foundation chair John Callanan said his group was proud to have contributed $30,000 towards the equipment. “The Northern Rivers… is a fantastic place to live, but it’s not paradise for everyone,” Mr Callanan said. “There are so many people in need. The core of our business is supporting community organisations that support those in need.
“I can see that the industrial quality (of machines) will serve the needs of this community for a long time and that’s key.