OLD CHURCH, NEW SERVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS ON SUNSHINE COAST
10th October 2023
• The Palaszczuk Government will provide $1.4 million to support a new supported accommodation service in Nambour for young people experiencing homelessness
• Funding will see IFYS provide accommodation and wraparound support at upgraded former church
A former church in Nambour has been transformed into a supported accommodation service for local young people experiencing homelessness.
The Palaszczuk Government has committed almost $1.4 million to Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS), primarily for onsite support workers, to deliver temporary supported accommodation for young people on the Sunshine Coast.
It is expected that this new service will provide a safe and secure home for up to 21 young people aged 16 to 25 years at any one time.
The service will offer young people a safe place to call home for up to two years, offering wraparound support services that will enable positive education and support outcomes, helping young people transition into their own accommodation.
Quotes attributable to Nicklin MP Rob Skelton:
“This is the first temporary supported accommodation service specifically targeted at young people to be located in the Nambour area.
“IFYS do great work in our community, and it means young people will have a safe and secure home and the support they need to transition to longer-term, independent living.
“Not only will they have a room to themselves, these rooms also have access to shared kitchen and dining facilities.”
Quotes attributable to Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon:
“More than 21 per cent of people supported by the Palaszczuk Government’s Specialist Homelessness Services in the Sunshine Coast were young people aged 15–24 years.
“That’s why we’re providing some $7.1 million this financial year alone for specialist homelessness services on the coast.
“Looking at what we’ve done on the Gold Coast and in Logan through our youth foyers, we know these types of supported accommodation services can change the lives of vulnerable young people for the better.
“The former church has been upgraded to include 22 fully furnished rooms, including one for an onsite caretaker, complete with an ensuite and a study area.”
Quotes attributable to IFYS CEO Tony Pignata, who said some of the young residents had been sleeping rough in parks before they found refuge in the old church:
“They thought they were coming to an institution-like building, but they were amazed when they saw it.
“These kids were over the moon.”
Mr Pignata also thanked the local community for coming together to raise $1.3 million for the project.
“The Sunshine Coast really rallied and put their hands in their pockets.
“We also had people donate their time, like tradies who would show up for two days to build a deck or do some landscaping.”