Dignity First Fund to give Ipswich locals a helping hand

Queenslanders in Ipswich have been provided pathways out of homelessness with funding from round three of the $2.5 million Dignity First Fund.

A Tivoli-based social enterprise will prepare and deliver fresh, nutritious meals to hundreds of individuals and families in need in the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Brisbane Valley regions after receiving funding of $76,220.

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.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said Tivoli Social Enterprises Limited was one of three recipients in Ipswich sharing in more than $167,000 funding under the current Dignity First Fund round.

“The Dignity First Fund provides for people who really need it, when they really need it,” Mr Madden 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 helped Tivoli Social Enterprises purchase a refrigerated food truck for transporting produce from Brisbane to the organisation’s kitchen and then on to people in need.”

Member for Ipswich Jen Howard said it was important to provide place-based solutions when addressing homelessness.

“The circumstances around homelessness in the Ipswich region are vastly different to those we see in other parts of the state,” Ms Howard said.

“That’s why the Dignity First funding is so important, it delivers local solutions to local challenges – so I am happy to see the funding come directly into my local community.”

Tivoli Social Enterprise Director Fred Muys described the refrigerated truck, as the ‘missing link’ in the food service chain.

“We are able to source frozen meat and other goods for our kitchen from a number of sources in Brisbane, but you must have refrigeration to ensure it does not spoil on the journey to our commercial kitchen at Chuwar, and then onto the clients,” Mr Muys said.

“We’ve invested a considerable amount to upgrade the kitchen located on the site of the Tivoli Drive-In Theatre and Community Events Centre in Coal Road, Chuwar, and the Dignity First funding is giving us the transport infrastructure we need to service our clientele well into the future.

“Our clientele includes a core of several hundred people experiencing homelessness, and a significantly higher number of people who are experiencing financial stress or other difficulties.”

Minister for Housing and Public works Mick 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.

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