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Taking it to the streets

Tuesday, 28th January, 2014

Mayor Wincen Cuy joined staff and supporters of the Community Restorative Centre to help raise awareness of homelessness in Broken Hill. Mayor Wincen Cuy joined staff and supporters of the Community Restorative Centre to help raise awareness of homelessness in Broken Hill.

By Nick Gibbs

Do you think you could survive a night sleeping rough on the street?

The Broken Hill Community Restorative Centre is challenging Broken Hill locals to give up their beds for a night to help raise awareness of homelessness in the community. 

Transitional staff member Kerry Wall explained there was a misconception that homelessness simply referred to people sleeping on the street, but it also involved those who had no fixed address and relied on friends and family.

“A lot of people think homelessness is just a metropolitan issue,” she said.

The CRC Sleep Out will be held on Thursday, February 6 in Argent Street outside of the CRC Office, Spicer’s Office Choice and Warra Warra Legal Service. 

Participants will be provided with drinks, coffee and a light meal for the duration of the event.

Mrs Wall advised those getting involved to bring a cardboard box and sleeping bag on the night.

“We are looking to recreate the experience of what it’s like to be homeless for one night,” she said. 

“People in Broken Hill have such wonderful hearts, once they realise homelessness is an issue I’m sure we will get a great response.”

Registration kits can be collected from the CRC office at 178 Argent Street. 

A sausage sizzle and drinks will be available for a gold coin donation and everyone is encouraged to come down and lend their support.

There will also be a wishing well on Argent Street for people wanting to contribute to a worthwhile cause.

As well as raising awareness and funding for homelessness in Broken Hill, Mrs Wall said the sleep out provided a good opportunity for local community groups to get together. 

“It’s a great chance for us to get together and network,” she said, praising the work of local organisations Centacare and Compass Housing Services. 

“Alone we can achieve a little bit, but together just imagine what we can achieve.”

In the lead up to the Sleep Out, the CRC is currently holding a food drive to support the local St. Vinnie’s after they suffered a break in recently.

Residents are encouraged to drop into the CRC office on Argent Street and donate non perishable food to those in need.

Manager Dale Tonkin was pleased with how his staff were helping to raise the issue of homelessness in the local community.

“The transitional staff at the CRC are doing a great job promoting awareness of homelessness in Broken Hill,” he said.

As part of aiding members of the community susceptible to homelessness, the Broken Hill CRC is now broadcasting a prison radio show Jailbreak on the Hill on 107.7 2Dry FM on Monday nights from 8pm to 9pm.

Mr Tonkin explained that the state wide program helped prisoners bond with family members and allowed CRC staff to make a connection with inmates while providing valuable information before they were released.

“The first half hour is streamed from Sydney, then from 8:30pm-9pm we broadcast locally,” he said. 

For further information on the Sleep Out, including how to register and how to donate, phone the CRC on (08) 8087 9109

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