A Common Ground solution to homelessness in Southport – The launch event of Common Ground Gold Coast

As local businesses will no doubt confirm, homelessness and housing stress are on the rise on the Gold Coast, as it is in many parts of Queensland.

The rising cost of living pressures, impacts of the flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have left more Gold Coasters experiencing homelessness.

 

Right now, according to local data collected by the Gold Coast Homelessness Network, the Gold Coast has more than 3000 single, couple and family applications on the public housing waitlist. These include 1800 ‘very high need’ applications and account for nearly 5,000 required bedrooms. In addition, we know more than 300 people are sleeping rough on the Gold Coast each night, with many of these people long-term or chronically homeless.

 

There is an effort emerging locally to bring the successful and proven Common Ground model to the Gold Coast, to house these vulnerable people and promote an overall solution to homelessness, here on the Gold Coast.

 

Why Common Ground

 

The Common Ground model of supportive housing is a proven and cost-effective solution to address homelessness by providing permanent, safe, affordable housing that is intentionally linked to tailored support services. Ideally, the Common Ground housing project is located near public transport and job opportunities, with the long-term aim to support vulnerable people to break the cycle of homelessness and get back to family, work, study, and community. Common Ground Queensland has a track record of delivering supportive housing in Queensland for the past ten years, with strong governance and a proven and financially sustainable operational model that partners with local service providers.

 

The Common Ground difference

 

A University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research report found Brisbane Common Ground produced cost offsets to the community of more than $13,000 a year, per tenant, by providing them with access to supportive housing. The model ensured tenants experienced fewer mental health presentations, days as an admitted patient, visits to the emergency department and interactions with the police (both as a victim and/ or offender). The model also diverts people away from primary healthcare systems and emergency departments, freeing up funds that could be reinvested into services to help people remain in housing more permanently. Many past Common Ground residents have now gone on to find long-term employment, education, start families, and secure permanent housing with financial independence.

 

I am excited to announce the launch of Common Ground Gold Coast, which will be happening next month, following which formal efforts will commence immediately to identify the appropriate site and funding to bring the project to reality.

 

You can join our efforts to establish a Common Ground on the Gold Coast by clicking here, and for more information on the model, please visit: www.commongroundqld.org.au.

 

Sonya Keep
CEO, Common Ground Queensland

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