Helen in hunt for a shelter

GOOD HEART: Helen Youngberry is hoping to open up a homeless shelter in Goodna.
GOOD HEART: Helen Youngberry is hoping to open up a homeless shelter in Goodna. Inga Williams

HAVING seen firsthand how many people in Goodna are doing it rough on the streets, Helen Youngberry is on a mission to find a location to set up a homeless shelter.

Ms Youngberry, who started up the organisation Goodna Street Life Helping Hands Centre Inc, said she is hoping to secure a centre as soon as possible so those who are sleeping in the elements every night have a warm and secure place to go.

"Just down from Diggers Rest on Queen St is an old building which we think would be perfect," she said.

"There is an old home which nobody is currently living in, next to the church.

"If we were to obtain the house, that would give us a decent space where we could accommodate a number of rooms for those in need.

"The way we would run it is, that this space would not be a hand out. It would be a helping hand centre. People who come to stay at the centre must contribute to the centre.

"This will be the space where they can come and get a little self-worth and learn some new skills."

The shelter would be an extra add on from the Friday night gatherings at Diggers Rest, where Footprints in the Path, which Ms Youngberry also assists with, provides warm meals for the needy.

For Lionel Perrier, who has been living on the streets for two years, this idea cannot come soon enough.

"When it's raining, I get wet. When it's hot, I get burnt. I have nowhere to go," he said.

"I have had things stolen from me like clothes and food, so sometimes I don't feel very safe.

"There is not enough out there for homeless people, especially homeless men, so I think this is a great idea."

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully said he was in favour of the idea.

"I do support it. I think it is a great idea to help people in the community who are at need," he said.

"Helen has come and spoken to me about this and said she has a few possible locations.

"I have explained to her that on some places she may need to get town approval. But other than that, she will need funding to help make this dream a reality.

"But she is a very enthusiastic and committed person."

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