A dual cab ute with an aluminium tray to transport people in crisis will soon be operating on the Sunshine Coast off the back of $42,937 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 ute would transport people experiencing homelessness and families escaping domestic violence to crisis accommodation and service appointments.
“Dignity First provides for people who really need it, when they really need it,” Mr de Brenni said.
“A little money and a lot of heart can make a real difference and that is certainly true in this case. Most clients of the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre don’t have cars so there is a high need for a vehicle to get them to a safe place and important appointments.”
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre CEO Michael Henning said they would drive people south to Brisbane and north to Gympie if necessary.
“Public transport can be expensive and difficult to access for many of our clients, so this ute will make a big difference to their lives,” Mr Henning said.
“We will also use the ute to pick up produce for our community dinners, which are held twice a week and often attract more than 50 people.
“Additionally, it will help us establish a social enterprise business at the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre – building on the skills some of our clients already have by engaging them in jobs like car maintenance, furniture construction, cooking, catering and recycling.
Mr Henning said they would also use the funding to install 12 large outdoor lockers at the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre, so clients have a secure place to store their possessions when they attend appointments.
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 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