ANDREW Winsor only wants one thing – a roof over his head.
Suffering from schizophrenia, the 36-year-old became homeless two years ago after his father placed a restraining order against him.
“I got into trouble with the police and I couldn’t live with my parents anymore,” Mr Winsor said.
He now spends his day carting his trolley of blankets around town, visiting friends and going to Centro.
Despite being homeless, Mr Winsor said there were a lot of support services around Mandurah.
“I never go without. People around here are really nice,” he said.
“The other day I had three people giving me change to buy coffee.
“I get food from the soup kitchen and blankets from places like the Salvos.”
Recently spending his nights on the well-lit verandah of the Uniting Church, Mr Winsor said all he really needed was a roof over his head.
“I’m really thankful the church lets me sleep there, but I do want a home of my own,” he said.
“It can be a bit scary at night, especially on Friday and Saturday.
“A lot of homeless people squat in houses but then you get in trouble for that.”
Mr Winsor said he was now on the waiting list for Homeswest and St Pat’s and St Bart’s but supported the view held by lawyer Brian Mahon for a men’s homeless shelter to be built in Mandurah.
Mr Mahon said he had noticed more homeless people in the area and spoke with Mr Winsor and got his perspective.
“I asked Andrew if there was anything I can do, and he made the point that the services are great in Mandurah,” Mr Mahon said.
“But it looks as if there is a gap for housing homeless men.”
Mandurah MLA David Templeman agreed there was a gap.
“There used to be a place in Gibson Street run by Holyoake and that housed a lot of men who were homeless and had substance issues,” Mr Templeman said.
“This was an important resource but in the early 2000s we lost this important facility after it was sold.”
Mr Templeman said the recent Peel Away the Mask II report highlighted youth homelessness as a key priority and the Passages Resource Centre was opened to help this.
“For men though, there is a gap that hasn’t been addressed by local, state and federal governments,” he said.
Mr Mahon said he would like to see a homeless shelter for men established but even a shed or sea containers would be better than nothing.
“Somewhere warm and dry with a postal address is what they need,” he said.
“Practical steps need to be taken to fill in this gap.”
But Mr Templeman said a shed was still third-world conditions and a shelter needed to be central.
He said with recent developments spare land in the central area of Mandurah was hard to come by.
“I would like to see the Holyoake organisation re-establish a place like what they used to have on Gibson Street,” he said.
“That was an important facility in a central area and we really need something like that again.”
As for Mr Winsor, he hopes to have a job soon and somewhere to call home.