Friends of Fred’s Place Rally to Help Homeless

Friday 26 June 2020

Winter is the toughest time for people living rough on the streets or sleeping in cars, couch-surfing, or cheap caravan parks and boarding houses. Many hundreds of men and women, young and old, are currently experiencing homelessness in northern NSW.

Vinnies drop-in centre in Tweed Heads, Fred’s place, is now in its fourth year, and has seen an increase in local need, particularly in recent times. Fred’s Place provides proper food, access to bathrooms and laundry, medical care, housing advice, phone and computer access to those who could otherwise go without, helping around 90 people every day.

Fred’s Place has many friends in the Tweed Heads-border community, and the challenges of Covid-19 during an already tough season has inspired remarkable generosity.

Staff member Femke Romeijn has been run off her feet collecting donations and bringing them back for distribution to Fred’s Place visitors.

Femke with a car full of crockery donated by Robina Lions Club

One ‘Friend of Fred’s Place’ is The Hood, a Facebook group of local community members. Jane Clancy made a post for donations, resulting in two car loads of clean clothing, sleeping gear and other personal items donated to the service. These goods will mean the world to someone who is sleeping rough, or in insecure housing this winter.

“We were overwhelmed to receive a monetary donation of $5,000 from an elderly local resident with a commitment to helping good causes.” Femke said. “Such generosity will greatly help Fred’s Place to continue our vital work with people in real need”

The Mini Vinnies team at St James Primary School, Banora Point donated a carload of good clothing and supplies from their Winter Appeal collection, which was done through a donation trolley at the front of the school & promoted through hand-drawn posters created by the students.

Teacher Anastasia Scott (pictured with Fred’s Place worker Megan Claeys) said, “We love being able to help those in our community who are struggling. Thank you!”

Fred’s Place says a big ‘Thank you’ to Anastasia and the student team.

Providing nutritious food for Fred’s Place visitors is a major expense, and we’re so grateful to Tweed Heads Bowls Club, through OzHarvest, for donating a supply of top-quality frozen meals for those we assist. The local Hare Krishna community also generously provided 100 vegan meals from their acclaimed kitchen, which will go a long way in filling hungry bellies. Cups, plates, serving dishes and soup bowls were also donated by the local Robina Lions Club.

The Fred’s Place team has been overwhelmed by the community’s generosity, at a time when so many people are doing it tough.

Donated clothing and sleeping bags outside Fred's Place

“Sincere thanks on behalf of all Fred’s Place users, we’re so grateful.” Team leader Alysia Hopkins said, “Having good meals, showers, clean clothes and access to services does so much for people’s dignity and self-esteem.”

“Our visitors really struggle day-to-day, and having a safe place to restore their spirits is so important.”

Help people reeling from the impacts of COVID-19, and struggling to get through winter with a donation today.

Fred’s Place is located at 9 Boyd Street, Tweed Heads. If you’d like to help this service, please phone (07) 5536 1906.