Queenslanders in Brisbane have been provided pathways out of homelessness with funding from round three of the $2.5 million Dignity First Fund.
A new mobile kitchen and food van is operating across the Brisbane and Logan areas from February 2019 after an injection of $177,154 in funding.
The purpose of the Fund is to seek new and innovative 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 food van was one of 14 projects funded in the Brisbane region at a total of more than $738,000.
“The Dignity First Fund 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 – the investment has enabled Anglicare Southern Queensland to purchase and fit out a kitchen/food van where young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can gain an understanding of nutrition and learn the skills to prepare and cook healthy meals.”
Anglicare Southern Queensland Executive Director Karen Crouch said this was an exciting and innovative project which would make an impact on the lives of young people.
“It has helped them develop important life skills, connect them into their local communities, develop their long-term resilience and foster a sense of wellbeing from giving back to the community,” Mrs Crouch said.
“The food they cook is being distributed to a range of community-based organisations, street vans and age respite centres.
“They get work experience preparing food at events and corporate functions and, through our partnership with TAFE, have access to training, education and employment opportunities.
“As well as getting increased confidence and self-esteem, they can seek qualifications in the hospitality, cooking or barista fields.”
Minister de Brenni said Dignity First Funding was established in 2016 to provide localised, people centric support, and was essential to providing Queenslanders with housing security.
“Labor believes that having a safe, secure, sustainable place to call home, is essential to holding down a job,” Mr de Brenni said.
“There are many different reasons why a someone my find it difficult to get into or hold down a tenancy, and the Palaszczuk Government is making sure we have wrap around services to suit every need.”
“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.”
The 19/20 Palaszczuk Government Budget commits a further $40 million to homelessness support, bringing the total funding for homelessness in Queensland to $180 million.