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Sod turning milestone on journey to reduce homelessness in Brisbane

The turning of the first sod at the Brisbane Common Ground project in South Brisbane marks another milestone in the mission to provide supportive housing to people who have been left on the streets for far too long.

The 50 Lives 50 Homes campaign with local businesses, community groups and volunteers created a baseline register of 265 people on the streets of Brisbane and set an initial target to house the 50 most vulnerable homeless people.

Strong partnerships have created local leadership to focus on ensuring people on the street do not miss out in the allocation of housing as new stock comes online through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

41 people from the register have been housed in the past 5 months through the combined effort of the Queensland Department of Communities Housing and Homelessness services, community housing providers 4Walls and St Vincent de Paul, Mater Health Services and Micah Projects Street to Home Team, Queensland Health HHOT Team, Queensland Police and other community based social and health services.

“Housing people from the streets requires a shared commitment and focus on each individual as well as the services and systems which are required to ensure housing success” says Karyn Walsh, Coordinator of 50 Lives 50 Homes lead agency Micah Projects.

The Brisbane Common Ground project on Hope Street in South Brisbane is part of a federal, state and local initiative to end homelessness, adding 146 units of social housing to existing stock.

73 units will be earmarked for people with a history of chronic homelessness while the other units will go to low income earning students, workers and artists.

Construction partner Grocon participated in the 50 Lives 50 Homes campaign with construction workers volunteering to survey people sleeping rough.

“Brisbane Common Ground is a ground breaking project that has only become possible because state and federal governments have joined with the community and business sectors and people from the local community,” says Karyn.

“It will use a supportive housing model that provides permanent, affordable housing with 24 hour concierge security and onsite support services so that individuals can maintain their tenancies.”

“This initiative will contribute to the progress already made in housing the most vulnerable people.

“It is significant that both Brisbane Common Ground and the 50 Lives 50 Homes campaign are driven by the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The end result is a solution to homelessness for individuals,” says Karyn.