Pete’s Place helps the homeless…and a lot more

Pete’s Place staff Brendan Biddle and Opal Harvey.

 

PETE’S PLACE is a St Vincent de Paul run drop-in service for people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.

It was established in 2018, with assistance from Coffs Harbour South Rotary, a Coffs Harbour Council infrastructure grant, and a bequest from a local man, Peter Grealy (the inspiration for the service’s name).

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“Pete’s Place originally provided access to basic needs provisions such as; laundry and shower facilities, food, clothing, blankets and tents as well as qualified staff to provide assessment, support, casework and referrals to appropriate services,” Anna Scott, Pete’s Place Manager – North Coast told News Of The Area.

“With homelessness in our region escalating since Pete’s Place opening, the service has adapted to meet the identified needs.

“This service has now expanded to include an engagement hub.

“Our engagement hub allows the provision of wrap-around support to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of those who utilise the facility.

“Specialised services attend each week including, Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service, Women’s Health Centre, Mental Health clinician, GP Dr Ryan Partridge, New Horizons, and Centrelink staff, allowing the visitors to access vital services in a safe and supported space.”

In its initial few months, Pete’s Place was seeing an average of 15 clients per day.

“This has now increased to an average of 70 people, a reflection of the crisis being seen across the state.

“Pete’s Place relies heavily on community support, with volunteers assisting with practical operations each day, and community members offering financial and food donations.

“Should you be interested in donating or volunteering, please pop into the service between 8.30am – 1.30pm Monday to Friday.

Pete’s Place is at the Coffs Harbour Community Village, behind Coles, adjacent to the Neighbourhood Centre.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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