Supported housing project dedicated to selfless Ipswich Elder
A four-story building in the Ipswich CBD has become more than a home for tenant Lauren – it’s the start of a better life.
“I feel so blessed to live here and to have the Vinnies team here to help – I feel like my life is going back to what it was before the alcohol, drugs and homelessness,” she said.
“I’ve never lived somewhere before with this much support freely available – it’s beautiful.”
The building, a 20-unit social housing partnership between the State Government and Vinnies Queensland, provides on-site social support from Vinnies for tenants, many of whom are transitioning from homelessness or crisis accommodation.
In an official ceremony this morning, the building was officially named “Aunty Jill Davidson Place” after a local Yuggera Elder who has spent decades supporting people experiencing homelessness in the Ipswich community.
Minister for Communities, Housing and Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch, who was joined by Aunty Jill Davidson herself in the naming ceremony, said it was a fitting honour for someone who had done so much for the local community.
“The State Government are proud to partner in this project with St Vincent de Paul Queensland – and what a mighty partner they’ve been,” she said.
“People escaping homelessness or who have difficulty sustaining their tenancy don’t need judgement – they need respect and dignity; they need to be supported by the community.
“This complex will help provide that support and is part of our on-going commitment to work with specialist homelessness service providers like St Vincent De Paul Society Queensland to support our most vulnerable Queenslanders and ensure access to safe and secure housing.”
Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said project would allow support workers to provide on-site help whenever they’re needed.
“Whether they need support accessing health or community services, assistance with budgeting and housing applications or even just need someone to talk to when they are struggling, our team are right on site to lend a helping hand and a listening ear,” he said.
Tenant Shaun said the Vinnies team on site helped him out as he recovered from significant surgery on his foot that made it difficult to walk and continue his labour-intensive job.
“My operation made it hard to stay where I was, which had lots of stairs, so it’s been good living here,” he said.
“I’m still recovering but I’m already starting to become more independent.”
Funding for Aunty Jill Davidson Place was provided through the Queensland Government’s $1.6 billion Housing and Construction Jobs Program (HCJP).