Queenslanders in the Wide Bay region have been provided pathways out of homelessness with funding from round three of the $2.5 million Dignity First Fund.
An upgrade of the Comfort Kitchen at the Wandering Teapot is providing job opportunities for young people across the region after receiving funding of $195,000.
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 Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre would also launch a community magazine aimed at young people.
“The Dignity First Fund provides for people who really need it, when they really need it,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This investment will also enable the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre to recruit and train young people in food safety, sales and ongoing marketing of Wandering Teapot Black Tea.
“In the Wide Bay region, we also provided EDON Place Domestic and Family Violence Centre with $100,000 and Regional Housing Limited with $24,100 to help make a difference.”
Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Ms Tanya Stevenson thanked the Queensland Government for the funding, which will help progress three projects.
“We have already used part of this funding to hire four young homeless locals who were couch surfing in the region,” Ms Stevenson said.
“We have installed security cameras, lighting and benches in our Kindness Garden to help keep homeless people safe and we upgraded our kitchen to better prepare meals.
“Recently we launched our community magazine and next year we will launch the Wandering Teapot Tea.
“We are hoping to create a unique brand of tea by using locally produced tea leaves that Queensland’s community can identify with.”
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,” he 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.