STEADY HANDS: Dave Tilson, the manager of Coffs Harbour's almost-completed homeless drop-in centre, has worked in homeless services and housing in the UK and Australia for more than 20 years.
STEADY HANDS: Dave Tilson, the manager of Coffs Harbour's almost-completed homeless drop-in centre, has worked in homeless services and housing in the UK and Australia for more than 20 years.

Pete's Place ready for Christmas

BUILDING work on Coffs Harbour's new homeless services centre, Pete's Place, is almost complete, in spite of wet weather which the project manager said had put most local building projects about a fortnight behind schedule.

Planned for completion on December 22, the centre's manager Dave Tilson is hoping that the drop-in centre will be able to open shortly after Christmas, if not before, as homelessness does not take holidays.

A purpose-built extension to the Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre supported by Coffs Harbour City Council, local tradespeople and service clubs, Pete's Place will be managed through the St Vincent de Paul Society, with a heavy reliance on local volunteers.

It is named after the late Peter Grealy, a benefactor of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

A spokesman for the Society said Dave Tilson had been very heartened by the good response to last month's call for volunteers through the Coffs Coast Advocate newspaper, but any other interested people were welcome to add their names to the list. Dave Tilson can be contacted on 0438931201 Monday-Thursday 9am-midday.

Peter's Place drop in centre will offer homeless people laundry and bathroom facilities; computer access and access and referral to government and non-government services, but will not offer accommodation.

An official opening is planned for mid-January.


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