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Queensland builds on foundations of new housing model

Queensland builds on foundations of new housing model

Queensland builds on foundations of new housing model

7 May 2021

We’re all in this together ... most of the members of the Sunshine Coast Area Leadership Team who are supporting the new approach to people experiencing homelessness in Queensland: (from left) Major Karen Saunders (Nambour Corps Officer), Major Warren Parkinson (Noosa/Coolum CO), Major Sharon Clanfield (Area Officer), Kath Densley (Family and Supported Accommodation Services); Debbie Robbie (Moneycare); Auxiliary-Lieutenants Tim and Karen Clark (Caloundra COs); Michael Chadian (Sunshine Coast Family Stores); Lieutenant Zak Churchill (Gympie CO); and (seated) Major Bryce Davies (Maroochydore CO/ Team Member) and Major Neil Clanfield (Area Officer).

By Darryl Whitecross

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The Salvation Army in Queensland is pioneering a new faith-based approach to housing people experiencing homelessness.

Marcus Hutchins, Community Services Specialist with the Army, said the primary aim of the approach was to support families to move from crisis accommodation into longer-term, more affordable and sustainable housing situations.

He said this would involve “different mission expressions” within the church, united by “one common purpose ... seeing families thrive in a version of community that celebrates the Christian faith as foundational to the professional support, love and care being provided.”

On the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Noosa corps have each committed $15,000 to fund one house per corps.

Marcus said at the heart of the collaboration was a partnership between the corps and the homelessness stream.

“This partnership will ensure families can continue to receive ongoing professional case management at the same time as they are being invited and welcomed into a thriving corps community,” he said. “The stability this program offers a family is huge because it offers a family the time to work on other important factors (such as employment, education and community connectedness) that, if not dealt with in the first instance, can place a family at risk of homelessness.”

Marcus said while Queensland had pioneered the “new way of doing housing” within the Army, principally the Sunshine Coast model, similar models were being considered in other states.

Retired Commissioner James Condon, now a soldier at Caloundra Corps, was part of the corps committee that pioneered its involvement in the new faith-based housing strategy on the Sunshine Coast.

He said the initiative, which would meet “a very real need” was a way to direct corps finances into a practical project: “We saw how it would increase our connection with each other across the Sunshine Coast in terms of ministry and we saw the tremendous opportunity it would give us with connecting our other (corps) activities.”

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