Fraser Coast homeless targeted

THE Fraser Coast will be one of the first places in Queensland to implement a new program targeting homelessness.

Expected to be formally launched to coincide with National Homeless Persons Week on August 6-12, the new management measures come on the back of the Wide Bay Burnett being identified as one of seven Queensland homelessness hot spots.

Discussions between industry groups and the Department of Communities began in late 2010 and continued through until October 2011 when the Homelessness Community Action Plan was derived.

Queensland Council of Social Service acting senior manager Tanya Hall said HCAP was published in late February and some of its measures were already in place benefiting the local community.

"Two main projects have commenced, the Wiles Project (addressing youth homelessness with supported accommodation) and the Communities of Practice focusing on better-integrated service delivery," Ms Hall said.

"The planning process has already produced benefits through bringing services together to increase linkages between, and integration of, services in the area."

Ms Hall said the HCAP program being implemented was unique to the region as it was developed through consultation with front-line staff from the sector, living and working in the Fraser Coast.

She said action plans for the other six homelessness hot spots of Brisbane, Caboolture, Cairns, Gold Coast, Mt Isa and Toowoomba were also individualised through a similar consultation process.

She admitted homelessness had never before been confronted in such a localised way anywhere in Australia and was looking forward to seeing results.

One reason for a local planning approach was the varying nature of homelessness across the state.

Ms Hall said HCAP hoped to involve all sections of the community in homelessness action planning to provide better ways of working to reduce homelessness.

Gympie Times


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