Public housing trio unite
A NEW force in community action has been formed with the merger of three Gympie organisations.
Formerly the Cooloola Community Housing Association, the now single organisation Community Action brings together Cooloola Community Housing, Youth Service, and Erin House – a combined 74 years’ experience delivering housing services in Gympie.
Incoming president Rae Gate said each organisation had a long and proud histroy in delivering housing and emergency accommodation in Gympie.
“The three organisations have so much in common, it just made good sense to merge,” she said.
Cooloola Community Housing began operations in 1988, the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. From a small housing action group, it has grown to now manage a portfolio of 100 properties.
Manager Michelle Hine said there had been significant changes in government housing policy, and an increased focus on social housing.
“We hope that by combining our resources we will be able to deliver better services to all our tenants,” she said.
The Youth Service was established in 1984 in response to concerns about youth homelessness. It now offers a range of support and employment preparation programs in addition to accommodation.
Manager Judy Bauer the Youth Service had faced some challenges over the years, with one of its early shelters destroyed by fire.
“But after each challenge we have come back stronger than ever,” she said. Erin House, also established in 1984, is a passionate advocate against domestic violence.
“We need everyone in the community to be aware of and speak up against all forms of violence,” Erin House manager Bernie Wright said.
Incoming Community Action secretary Ann Rigbye said housing and homelessness were still major issues throughout Gympie.
“We hope that by merging, we can have a single, united voice for housing and social inclusion in the region,” Ms Rigbye said.