Construction begins on a new $6.7 million Peninsula Support Hub

Published 25 June 2024

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City of Moreton Bay is helping to combat the homelessness crisis after construction of the new Peninsula Support Hub in Redcliffe began this week.

The Breakfast Club president Michelle Gilchrist and Major Mark Everitt from The Salvation Army turned the first sod to start construction alongside Mayor Peter Flannery, State Member for Redcliffe and Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath and Cr Karl Winchester (Div 6).

The development is led by a $3.7 million investment from City of Moreton Bay, with a further $3 million contribution from the State Government’s South East Queensland Community Stimulus Program (SEQCSP).

Mayor Peter Flannery said the milestone marks an important moment in Council’s ongoing efforts to tackle the homelessness crisis locally.

“Homelessness is a growing issue that’s gripping the nation, and as the third largest Council in Australia, City of Moreton Bay is committed to supporting all residents feel connected to our communities and find a place to call home,” he said.

“We know it’s not the usual remit of local government but we couldn’t just stand back on this issue – it's just too important.

“This new facility will give hardworking local service providers like The Breakfast Club and The Salvation Army a base to reach more people experiencing homelessness and connect them to the services they need.

“It will also serve as a friendly space where anyone can get a warm meal from the commercial grade kitchen, access the shower and laundry facilities, and share conversation with old and new friends.

“We have worked closely with both tenants to ensure this purpose-built facility will be a central hub to support the critical services they provide to the community.

“The number of people experiencing homelessness is growing and so too is the need for Council to step in and support solutions at a local level to build safe and resilient communities across the city.

“That’s why we released our Housing and Homelessness Action Plan late last year to better work with the state and federal governments and community service providers.

“Developing this new hub is just one key initiative we have outlined and are committed to delivering in the plan.”

State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath said the Queensland Government is focused on combatting the national housing and homelessness crisis and applauded City of Moreton Bay for their commitment and initiative.

"I've been advocating for this hub for many years, and it will benefit the community for many years to come. It will make a real impact for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness on the Peninsula and across the city," she said.

“Supporting our vulnerable community members is critical. Last year our government provided $171 million to 90 homelessness services like Encircle and The Salvation Army to support the important work they deliver in the community.

“The Queensland Government is committed to working with all levels of governments to ensure we are providing the support needed to improve the lives of all Queenslanders.”

Division 6 Councillor Karl Winchester said this multi-purpose services centre will go a long way for the community on the Peninsula.

“This great new facility will provide people with the immediate support they need including food, access to bathroom and laundry facilities, and connection to health, wellbeing and housing assistance,” he said.

“Council is proud to be delivering this new home for The Breakfast Club and The Salvation Army who are doing so much for those doing it tough.”

Michelle Gilchrist, President of the not-for-profit organisation The Breakfast Club said she can’t wait to be serving the first free dinner to the community in the new home.

“We provide over 1,500 meals each month to people experiencing homelessness or who are in need and this new hub will provide better facilities for us to create a safe space for everyone,” she said.

“Our guests have raised concerns around food and housing insecurity, social connection, accessing services, and mental health, so it’s great that this hub will be able to create better access to many beneficial services.”

Aaron Pimlott, State Manager for Homelessness, The Salvation Army said he is looking forward to having a physical presence in the new hub.

“As one of the largest homelessness services providers, we have a long history responding and working with people experiencing homelessness, as well as working with those who may be at risk of becoming homeless by providing tenancy sustainment support,” he said.

“Our services will provide individuals and families with a safe space to access support, as well as case management and referrals to specialist services, including housing.”