COFFS Harbour will be the home of a Mission Australia Centre, a purpose-built community hub, to be built by local construction company Lipman in Coffs Harbour’s CBD.
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Mission Australia made the announcement this week and construction will commence later this month.
The hub will be an inclusive, vibrant centre offering a range of tailored community services designed to address the most pressing needs of vulnerable locals.
Charoah Evans, Mission Australia’s Regional Manager, Mid North Coast said, “The new Mission Australia Centre will be a vibrant hub right in the heart of Coffs Harbour’s CBD that offers a space for connection and healing.
“It will not only provide essential support but will also enable people, including those who live in our local social homes, to be involved and connected with our local community while they address their individual or family concerns.”
The latest 2016 Census data shows Coffs Harbour has seen a 15% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness since the previous Census – a rate higher than the national average.
The electorate of Cowper, which takes in Coffs Harbour, is the 10th top electorate in Australia for rental stress, with 7,698 households in Cowper experiencing rental stress.
“For many people living in Coffs Harbour, this year has brought to the forefront a variety of challenges and given greater visibility to ongoing issues in our community such as homelessness,” Ms Evans continued.
“Both Duke Street Mission Australia projects in the heart of Coffs Harbour are part of our investment and ongoing commitment to ensuring that people on the Mid North Coast, no matter their age, background or income, have access to the services they need, and a safe and secure home.”
The Mission Australia Centre building project will be funded entirely by donations, and will be built on Duke Street at the same time as the charity’s Government funded 40 one-bedroom social home apartments.
The Mission Australia Centre Coffs Harbour is set to be completed in the last quarter of 2021.
Coffs Harbour’s centre will be the sixth Mission Australia Centre, with existing locations including Sydney’s Surry Hills, Kingswood and Miller, as well as in Western Australia and Tasmania.
By Sandra MOON