A push to establish an emergency accommodation service for men is underway after Inverell Shire Councillor Paul King asked council to support his call for interested people, groups and agencies to come together and pool their resources to create a men’s shelter.
In a Question without Notice put to councillors at November’s Economic and Community Sustainability Committee, Cr King asked the authority to help him organise a community meeting.
“This is not about council committing to a project or taking over the initiative, it’s just about council helping me to start the conversation,” he said.
The former Linking Together Centre manager said people had been talking about the need to set up a men’s shelter in Inverell for years.
“There are lot of people who would love to help but it’s gone off the radar a bit,” he said.
“I know there are a lot of passionate people out there with compassion for disadvantaged people and you if put them all together something good will happen.”
A two-meeting approach was proposed by council’s general manager Paul Henry and supported by the councillors.
That idea will see an initial invitation go out to recognised stakeholders - including government and non-government groups, service clubs and private citizens - to come together to scope out the problem of homelessness among men locally.
That meeting will also determine what programs are already available and develop a possible course of action.
That strategy will then be opened for discussion at a second meeting to which the wider public will be invited.
“There are a lot of people with good skills out there,” Cr King said. “If we get the right recipe we will be successful.”