The members of The Shelter Collective have seen a homelessness crisis brewing in Rockhampton and they’ve decided to do something about it, right now.
The Shelter Collective is a collaborative group of “experienced and highly motivated individuals from Central Queensland” representing housing providers, social enterprise groups, construction and training industries, as well as people with expertise in project management, government policy and investment.
Donna Kirkland, whose role with the Shelter Collective establishment group is unrelated to her duties as councillor with Rockhampton Regional Council, said a recent phone call had opened her eyes to homelessness in CQ.
“A mother of five told me she had been sleeping in her car for nearly 12 months, she was desperate for somewhere to live.”
Moved by her story, Ms Kirkland started researching the issue, finding statistics that shocked her.
“Thirty-five per cent of homelessness in our region is related to domestic violence, 60 percent of people affected are women… and more staggeringly, there are 1200 people on the social housing list just in Rockhampton alone.
“People are getting pushed out of their accommodation because they can’t afford it anymore, they’re staying with relatives, sleeping in cars or tents, living in crowded situations with up to three families in one house at a time.
“We don’t see them, so we think the housing crisis isn’t there.”
The Shelter Collective has launched four projects designed to take the pressure off the housing crisis in a short time frame and is looking for community and corporate investment.
The Sleep Haven Coach will see a bus donated by Rothery’s converted into secure overnight accommodation, including individual, self-lockable and air-conditioned sleeping quarters.
There will even be an air-conditioned section for pets and an opportunity to get clothes laundered.
Another project, Alexandra Gardens ARC-20, will see 20 unoccupied one-bedroom cottage units restored to be used as affordable housing.
The units are located on land owned by PresCare in Alexandra St, adjoining their aged care complex, and were earmarked to be demolished.
About $250,000 is needed to renovate the first four cottages, but once that is raised work can start “straight away”.
Article source cqtoday.com.au.