COUNCIL KEEPS PROMISE: Lismore Council has given the Soup Kitchen $100,000 towards the purchase of the Winsome Hotel (pictured).
COUNCIL KEEPS PROMISE: Lismore Council has given the Soup Kitchen $100,000 towards the purchase of the Winsome Hotel (pictured).

Council gives soup kitchen $100,000

LISMORE Council gave the Soup Kitchen $100,000 towards the new homeless centre on Tuesday night as the Soup Kitchen's chief executive Ridley Bell answered residents concerns about the shelter's location.

The Lismore Soup Kitchen announced in August that it would purchase the Winsome Hotel for an undisclosed sum to house the city's destitute.

“This was a decision of a previous council so I am very happy that we upheld it,” Mayor Jenny Dowell said.

“There is a desperate and growing need for a shelter but it seemed every winter we were getting further away from it.”

The money from the council will go towards the purchase of the hotel, not operational costs.

Mr Ridley told the council meeting other funding would come from the sale of the Soup Kitchen's existing homeless house in Lismore, $220,000 from the Federal Government, a private loan, a foundation grant, a financial institution and some vendor finance.

Mr Ridley said he understood fears of nearby residents that tents would be put up in the grounds of the Winsome but said they were unfounded.

“We can unequivocally say there will be no tent city at the Winsome Hotel,” he said.

Mr Ridley said the land behind the Soup Kitchen where a tent city has sprung up was not owned by the kitchen, but State Rail, which 'has chosen not to do anything about it'.

He said St Vincent de Paul had appointed a case manager to assist those living at the Winsome and the live-in house manager would ensure all residents obeyed the rules and 'didn't come and go with lights out at 10pm'.

Under the proposal, the Soup Kitchen would move its operations and serve food to the homeless between the hours of 7am and 1pm.

A community consultation is being planned for Saturday, September 19 at the Winsome.



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