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Sod-turning brings hope one step closer for Brisbane's homeless

Sod-turning brings hope one step closer for Brisbane's homeless

Sod-turning brings hope one step closer for Brisbane's homeless

31 October 2019

(From left) Lieutenant-Colonel David Godkin (Queensland Divisional Commander), Doug Cory (founder of The Cory Charitable Foundation) and Adrian Schrinner (Brisbane Lord Mayor) turn the first sod on the construction of The Cory Centre, The Salvation Army’s affordable housing complex in Chermside, Brisbane.  

By Simone Worthing

A fresh approach to assisting people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Brisbane began with the turning of the first sod at The Salvation Army’s new affordable housing complex at Chermside on Tuesday 29 October.

Twenty-six apartment-style homes will be built on the Gympie Road site – 21 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom – with work expected to be completed by mid to late 2021.

The complex will provide stable and long-term supported housing for both individuals and families with children, catering for up to 100 people at any one time. It is expected that thousands of people will be assisted through the complex over time.

“This site today is a place that represents hope,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Sandra Godkin, Queensland Divisional Leader. “We are excited about what is going to happen here to help solve the growing issues of homelessness and loneliness.”

The project has been made possible thanks to a $5 million donation from The Cory Charitable Foundation, long-term supporters of The Salvation Army.

Brisbane Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Adrian and Nina Schrinner, are also supporting the project through a sizeable donation from The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust. Former Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Graham and Anne Quirk, were instrumental in making this donation possible.

The Cory Foundation founder, Doug Cory, speaks at the ceremony.

The Cory Foundation founder, Doug Cory, spoke at the sod-turning ceremony, explaining that he, his wife Joan, and his family, had wanted to make a special, one-off donation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation, and were working in conjunction with The Salvation Army to make this social housing complex a reality.

Doug also announced that The Cory Foundation would give an additional minimum of $250,000 to furnish the apartments in the complex.

“I support the Salvos because, as a boy, I remember my mother was only one step away from being homeless with nine children – it was only through the kindness of many, including The Salvation Army, that we stayed in our home,” he said.

“This project will help a lot of folks now, and for many years to come. People need a safe roof over their heads and it is a good starting point for them to then get help from the other services they need.

“It is very satisfying to know you are helping to meet big needs in our society in a meaningful way.”

Housing crisis

Lieut-Colonel David Godkin, Queensland Divisional Commander, said the Affordable Housing Project at Chermside is The Salvation Army response to the housing crisis across Queensland.

Lieut-Colonel David Godkin (left) receives the Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust donation.

“We know that many families and individuals struggle on low incomes and are experiencing housing stress or living in conditions that are overcrowded or unsuitable, placing them at risk of homelessness,” he said.

“Through the generosity of the Cory Charitable Foundation and The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust, The Salvation Army is able to establish the first of what we hope is many affordable housing complexes – houses that will soon become homes for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Lord Mayor Schrinner said that he “can’t wait” to see the site come to life and lives transformed.

“The land we are standing on now will be land where lives are touched, helped and changed,” he said. “The many families that we don’t see on the streets who need shelter, safety and security will find it here.

“The problems of homelessness, housing and domestic violence are so massive, and the Salvos have the right response – changing lives one person at a time.”

Special guests at the ceremony included Doug and Joan Cory and extended members of the Cory family; trustees and ambassadors of The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust; Dr Anthony Lynham MP, State Member for Stafford; Brisbane Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress; and former Lady Mayoress, Anne Quirk.





  1. Terry & Vivianne Sayers
    Terry & Vivianne Sayers

    Well done Cory foundation

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