Shane Ohia Jonston, Damian (last name withheld), and Gary Berri all of Lismore are hopeful that the Lismore Council will move quickly on plans to build a homeless shelter in the city.
Shane Ohia Jonston, Damian (last name withheld), and Gary Berri all of Lismore are hopeful that the Lismore Council will move quickly on plans to build a homeless shelter in the city. David Nielsen

Lismore's homeless still out in the cold

LISMORE'S homeless will have to brave another winter on the streets because the site for a homeless shelter is still up in the air.

Lismore City Council decided at a meeting on Tuesday night to investigate other potentially suitable sites for the shelter, which could delay the final decision for another month.

Residents of South Lismore were not happy with the site originally proposed for Norco Lane, opposite the soup kitchen.

To appease residents, councillors agreed to investigate all other possible sites.

Mayor Merv King, who is also the president of the Lismore Homeless Shelter Working Party, said he still supported the South Lismore site as the best place.

"Certainly council can look if there are any other areas that would be suitable, but my preference is still for South Lismore," Cr King said.

He said the working party was aiming for work to start on the shelter in June, but due to regulations and the development application, that would not be possible.

"These sorts of things take time and we're still waiting to see if there is funding from the Federal Government in the Budget which we have been promised."

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin said $200,000 had been delivered in the Budget through the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, under the Supporting Local Communities program.

Lismore Soup Kitchen volunteer Ridley Bell said he didn't care where the shelter was built, as long as construction started soon.

"The crucial issue to me is having a shelter somewhere," Mr Bell said.

Damian, who didn't give his surname, goes to the Lismore Soup Kitchen for a 'good feed' every couple of weeks and believes it's just logical to build the shelter near it.

"People basically live here as it is, and the soup kitchen would see a couple of hundred pass through here every year, not to mention all the people sleeping in parks and under the bridge," he said.

"The shelter would also give the homeless some sort of validation."


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