HOMELESS MEN’S SHELTER FOR SUNSHINE COAST

A re-elected Morrison Government will provide $500,000 for the construction of a homeless men’s shelter on the Sunshine Coast.

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the funding would be used “to construct seven individual, self-contained, purpose built houses”, forming a small community with an onsite caretaker.

“It is heart breaking to think that there is no housing for homeless men between Brisbane and Maryborough – that’s a span of nearly 300 kilometres – and yet we know people are sleeping rough on the Coast every night,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There are dozens of men experiencing homelessness on the Coast right now with nowhere to go. That’s unacceptable.

“Which is why a re-elected Liberal National Government will commit $500,000 to build the Sunshine Coast’s first homeless men’s housing community.”

Both the build and running of the shelter will be managed by The Shack Community Centre under the guidance of Pastor Dale Dowler.

“What inspired me most about The Shack’s plan for a homeless men’s shelter was not the idea of just four walls and a roof for men who are sleeping rough but rather the holistic plan to help transition men from isolation and hardship back into active engagement with the community,” Mr O’Brien said.

Pastor Dowler said the project was “not just about building homes, we want to build lives”.

“I actually got quite emotional when Ted told me the news because I really am passionate about seeing these men grow and I’m passionate about seeing people housed, I’m passionate about seeing people with a smile on their face and often we see a lot of sadness, we see a lot of brokenness,” Pastor Dowler said.

“With this housing project we’re going to see families and lives rebuilt and if all goes to plan then in quite a relatively short time we’re going to be seeing a massive difference in our region.

“This shelter is different to what’s normally offered because we want to create a community, so there’s space within it, it’s going to be gated, it’s going to have a system almost like a body corporate where everyone gets a voice weekly, there’s going to be counselling and courses.  So it’s more than just a shelter, our vision is to build back into these men some of the things they’ve lost during their homelessness.”

Mr O’Brien has long acknowledged the need for emergency housing for homeless men on the Sunshine Coast.

He first engaged with the homeless, as a volunteer with Rosies – Friends on the Street in Brisbane and has participated in consecutive Vinnies CEO Sleepouts since becoming the MP for Fairfax.