The group behind the push to stop the closure of Rumbalara Youth Refuge is claiming success, but according to ‘Save Rumby’ spokesperson Mitchell Connolly, much more needs to be done to address the issue of homelessness on the Central Coast.
“Last year, the State Government was planning on pulling the funds from Rumbalara and our community came together and stopped them,” Mr Connolly said. “Having been a resident of Rumbalara when I was a teenager, and seeing the incredible difference this great organisation has made in so many young people’s lives, including my own, we went to work promoting our cause to keep Rumbalara’s doors open. “While the Government allocated some funding, we need at least another two homeless refuges on the Central Coast, as this issue is not going away,” he said. Mr Connolly was joined by Independent candidate for Gosford and social justice advocate Mr Jake Cassar, who said around 4,500 local men, women and young people are turned away from Central Coast services each year as there simply isn’t the resources to deal with the growing problem. “I’m calling on the State Member for Gosford, Chris Holstein, to lobby his Government to see that adequate funding is allocated to the Central Coast to support giving a hand to our most struggling locals,” Mr Cassar said. “The cost of running Rumbalara Youth Refuge is around $300,000 per year, with the majority of these funds employing local youth workers. “This is small change for the Government and I would like to see intergovernmental funding urgently allocated to help our most struggling locals to rise above their current situation.” Mr Connolly said: “If only the politicians would realise that people doing it tough are not hopeless losers.” “All young people deserve support and guidance to steer them in the right direction, not just those born into privileged and stable homes. “I’m really hopeful that Mr Holstein will go into bat for our local youth and ensure that this issue is urgently dealt with,” Mr Connolly said.
16 Mar 2015