An upgrade of the Comfort Kitchen at the Wandering Teapot will provide job opportunities for young people across the Wide Bay region off the back of $195,000 in funding through the Palaszczuk Government’s $2.5 million Dignity First Fund.
The fund supports fresh ideas from non-government providers that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness and assist people experiencing homelessness to live with dignity.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre was one of three new Dignity First recipients from the region, sharing in almost $320,000.
“Dignity First provides for people who really need it, when they really need it,” said Mr de Brenni.
“A little money and a lot of heart can make a real difference, and this investment will enable the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre to recruit and train young people in food safety, sales and ongoing marketing at the Wandering Teapot.
Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson thanked the Palaszczuk Government for the funding, which has already created jobs and creative opportunities.
“We have used part of this funding to hire four young homeless locals who were couch surfing in the region,” Ms Stevenson said.
“On 13 December we launch our community magazine, and next year we will release Wandering Teapot Tea, made from locally produced tea leaves.
“We’re also installing security cameras, lighting and benches in our Kindness Garden to help keep homeless people safe, and we’re upgrading our kitchen to create a better space for meal preparation.”
Forty Queensland organisations have secured 42 grants under the third round of the Dignity First Fund, with applications in 2018 totalling 165, up from the 111 received in 2017.
Mr de Brenni said some of the projects, like Tivoli Social Enterprise’s refrigerated truck, would be operational by the end of the year, while others requiring significant construction would be completed mid-2019.
“We are providing funding for a range of important projects – mobile outreach services, food trucks, community kitchen upgrades, drop-in centres and backpacks containing essential supplies, to name a few,” he said.
“Whatever situation you’re in, you have the right to live with dignity, and the innovative ideas we’ve seen emerge through this funding round will make a huge difference to the lives of Queenslanders in need.”
For more information please visit hpw.qld.gov.au/DignityFirst.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni