Local resident, Mitchell Connolly, is fighting to keep the Gosford Rumbalara Refuge run by Coast Shelter off the Central Coast Council’s asset sales list.
As a teenager, Connolly faced homelessness and spent many years sleeping on the streets, on friends’ couches and in and out of Central Coast refuges.
The Rumbalara refuge run by Coast Shelter was a place Connolly could receive support.
The refuge also helped manage his finances, stay in employment, and eventually secure his first rental property.
Since then, Connolly has run a successful business and contributes back to Rumbalara, Coast Shelter, and many other charitable organisations.
Connolly said his story is a true example of how these services and facilities contribute to developing individuals who have experienced issues and misfortunes in life.
He said Coast Shelter has grave concerns around the potential interruption to the 24/7 Residential Specialist Homelessness Service they provide for youth on this site.
“Coast Shelter needs certainty around how the Youth Homeless refuge would continue to operate through a major development or how the service and people might seamlessly relocate to a new ‘home’,” Connolly said.
“With the current global issues, this is one of the worst times this could be happening.
“Homelessness and associated factors such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicide are already high on the central coast.
“This will only intensify with the current events globally, which are already increasing statistics in the same areas of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide.
“It is therefore extremely counterintuitive at this time to be making matters worse for our homeless youth and the community at large.”