Manna from council

MANNA INC has been given a lifeline by Vincent council to keep feeding homeless people in Weld Square.

The council has been under pressure to move the volunteer service after 90 petitioners complained it was leading to anti-social behaviour close to their homes and businesses.

But a search of the city hasn’t found anywhere else suitable, so the council has given Manna a 12-month approval to operate in the square, with a raft of conditions.

A staff report says Manna has been a good citizen, with its managers quick to address problems raised by the council.

“Advice from the WA police confirms that anti-social behaviour a Weld Square has dropped significantly since the movement of the free meal service to the afternoon, and therefore this would not be a justifiable reason to discontinue the service at that location,” a report to the council said.

But staff weren’t prepared to offer a longer lease because of the residents’ concerns and said the situation would continue to be monitored.

During a recent street survey, Ruah Community Services found 28 people sleeping rough in Vincent, with another 319 throughout the Perth CBD.

In Vincent their average age was 37 and 65 per cent were male. Nearly half the homeless people were indigenous even though they make up just 2.4 per cent of Australia’s population.

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