John Paterson, a volunteer at the Lismore Soup Kitchen, speaking to a group of residents about the future of the Winsome Hotel becoming a homeless shelter.
John Paterson, a volunteer at the Lismore Soup Kitchen, speaking to a group of residents about the future of the Winsome Hotel becoming a homeless shelter. CATHY ADAMS

Winsome meeting makes heat

AT a heated public meeting about converting the Winsome Hotel into a homeless shelter, North Lismore locals accused the mayor of abandoning them.

About 30 locals met with volunteers of the Soup Kitchen on Saturday arguing the Winsome was a poor choice for a shelter.

About a dozen North Lismore residents complained that their roads were not repaired, and no bus shelters were built for school children.

Yet, they said, Lismore council had found $100,000 to bring 'drunks and drug addicts' into their neighbourhood.

“Where is the mayor - high and dry while we're in the floods,” one man said.

Two residents said they supported converting the Winsome Hotel into a homeless shelter.

But the majority argued this was a poor choice because it was on a major intersection.

They said that many of Lismore's homeless suffered drug and alcohol problems and they would inevitably gather outside the building.

“This is the gateway to our community, we have to pass the Winsome to get into town - many children have to walk this way to school,” a local mother argued.

They also said the nearby Pritchard Park would become unsafe for children if the homeless congregated there.

Soup Kitchen volunteer Jeff Wingfield said he had not expected the meeting to become so emotional.

“But I was hearing very minor hostilities and the argument seemed to be between the people here themselves,” he said. “Those who were for were passionately for, and those who were against were passionately against.”

Mr Wingfield said the Soup Kitchen would keep the homeless off the footpath in the mornings.

SHOULD THE WINSOME BECOME A HOMELESS SHELTER? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948


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