The Illawarra’s homeless population now has another ally in the community, with the launch of Wollongong’s first ‘‘homeless hub’’ yesterday.
Officially opened by Cunningham MP Sharon Bird and Shellharbour MP Anna Watson, the hub brings together numerous community and support services – from Centrelink and tenancy advice to real estate advice and internet access – under one roof at 305 Crown Street.
A collaboration between Wollongong Emergency Family Housing and Wollongong Women’s Housing, the hub is a response to the homeless and temporary accommodation situation in the region.
‘‘It is in a prime spot in the CBD, so people driving past are reminded that so many are doing it tough,’’ said manager of Women’s Housing, Loekie Klevjer.
‘‘We will give referrals to other services as well, to take the stress out of it and help find the most appropriate service to help.’’
The Illawarra Tenancy Advice Service will offer renting information and support, a Centrelink community engagement officer will be on site once a week, and Big Fat Smile will host children’s craft groups.
A real estate information workshop, Location Location, will run each morning, while other general support like toiletry packs and access to computers, photocopiers, fax machines and telephones will be offered free of charge.
‘‘We want to be able to assist people into housing, with whatever support they may need,’’ said Julie Mitchell of Emergency Housing.
‘‘The hub will offer not only sympathy but practical support and assistance, because from housing, everything else grows.’’
For information on the homeless hub call Wollongong Emergency Family Housing on 4228 0955.
Advice and help
305 Crown Street, Wollongong
Open Tuesday-Friday from 10am
• Location Location real estate workshops
• Rent It, Keep It renting workshops
• Illawarra Tenancy Advice Service
• Centrelink referral and advocacy services
• Big Fat Smile craft mornings
• Toiletry packs
*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Wollongong councillor Ann Martin joined Sharon Bird in opening the hub.