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New face of poverty on Gold Coast tourist strip

Homeless single fathers and their children, who are sleeping in cars or on the beach each night, are the new face of poverty on the Gold Coast, according to the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Vinnies' Gold Coast regional president Stephen Murray told the Catholic Leader that up to 25 homeless single fathers, with their children, are in this sort of plight every night on the tourist strip.

Mr Murray said the problem is worsening and, as a result, the society is planning to build accommodation particularly for this group.

The $1 million accommodation project is set to be built at Labrador on land beside the society's centre of charity.

Mr Murray said single women and women with children can usually find accommodation through the St Vincent de Paul Society, Salvation Army or Uniting Church.

"The ones facing a major problem are men with children," he said.

He said there was nothing available to them.

Mr Murray, who has been working on the project with the society's Mudgeeraba conference president, John Millsom, said final approval from the state council was needed, and the aim was to start building as soon as possible.

The society has been studying the situation for two years, and examining different models used by the Salvation Army, Uniting Church and the society to determine the best possible way to address this problem.

New face of poverty on tourist strip (Catholic Leader)

Vinnies Queensland

10 Nov 2003