The Palaszczuk Government has opened applications for the third round of its Dignity First Fund to support Queenslanders to help other Queenslanders who are experiencing homelessness.
Making the announcement at the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout at Brisbane’s Powerhouse, Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the program sought innovative projects to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to live through it with dignity.
“I spent just one night sleeping rough as part of the CEO Sleepout, and the best part of the experience was knowing that I wouldn’t have to do it again tonight,” Mr de Brenni said.
“It’s exhausting, and it’s painful, and it’s cold – but more than that, it makes you feel powerless to be sleeping outdoors, you’re at the mercy of the weather and the kindness of strangers.
“Every Queenslander deserves somewhere safe, secure and sustainable to live, which is why the Palaszczuk Government is delivering more than 5,000 social and affordable homes, so that Queenslanders don’t have to sleep rough.
“But while people are moving through the experience of homelessness, there are many actions we can take to make that experience a little less uncomfortable, and help people to develop social and community connections.
“That’s why, through our $2.5 million Dignity First Fund, we want to support practical projects that can make a difference in preventing or reducing homelessness or assisting people who are experiencing homelessness to live with dignity.’
St Vincent de Paul Queensland CEO Peter Maher said opportunities to live with dignity was an often-overlooked element of support for people experiencing homelessness.
“Vinnies volunteers work every day to give a hand up, and not just a hand out, to people struggling across the state,” Mr Maher said.
“All efforts like this initiative are valued in the challenge of addressing the homelessness crisis.”
Mr de Brenni said successful applicants can receive up to $200,000 to implement their proposal.
“I’m looking for proposals right across Queensland, especially in regional and remote areas.
“I’m especially keen to see projects that display innovation in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people, families and older Queenslanders.
“This is building on the positive outcomes of the first two rounds of Dignity First, which supported 53 projects across Queensland.
“These include mobile coffee and food vans that provide training and employment for people experiencing homelessness, hubs that bring together services for homeless people in one location, mobile laundry and shower facilities, vending machines that provide free tampons and pads, and driver training programs for young people so they can get a job.
“I’ve personally met people who say their lives have been saved through programs funded by Dignity First.”
Applications for the Dignity First Fund 2018 will be open from 21 June until 17 August. For more information on the fund or to lodge your application, visit www.hpw.qld.gov.au/DignityFirst
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni