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Helping hand for Hobart’s homeless

THE housing crisis in Hobart is reaching unprecedented levels, with the number of people sleeping rough on the rise.

To help address the issue, the Salvation Army and Hobart City Mission have launched a six-month pilot program to provide basic overnight shelter and support for Hobart’s homeless.

For many years, the Salvation Army Street to Home staff – who work directly with rough sleepers – have been concerned that overnight outreach services, particularly during winter, are not adequate to respond to people who were sleeping rough in the City of Hobart.

Similarly, Hobart City Mission (HCM) staff has seen this growing un-met need through the Emergency Assistance and Housing Connect programs.

The pilot program, called ‘Safe Night Space’, is being supported by funding from the Tasmanian Government, community contributions, funds from the Salvation Army and Hobart City Mission, as well as in-kind support from organisations, agencies and businesses.

Minister for Human Services Roger Jaensch said The Hodgman majority Liberal Government welcomed opportunities to partner with organisations like Hobart City Mission, the Salvation Army and Hobart City Council, and backed local leadership on local solutions to specific needs that weren’t being met through existing programs.

He confirmed the Hodgman Government would provide $150,000 for the first Safe Night Space pilot and would continue to work with the Salvos and Hobart City Mission to coordinate longer-term supports for the people who used it.

“The Safe Night Space pilot is just such an initiative; a bottom-up response to the needs of people sleeping rough in our city who can’t, for various reasons, make use of the shelters and other supports available in the area,” he said.

“Safe Night Space is designed and led by people with direct, practical experience of the complex needs and circumstances of such people, and I congratulate them for their initiative and leadership.

“I congratulate the Salvation Army and Hobart City Mission for leading this initiative, and encourage other Tasmanians, businesses and organisations to support its fundraising program to give Safe Night Space its best chance of success, because everyone has a role to play in ending homelessness.”

A suitable location for Safe Night Space has been identified with the support of the City of Hobart, which is providing the venue and associated costs free of charge.

The centre would open for homeless people who self-refer, as well as those identified by other agencies.

The Salvation Army and Hobart City Mission are calling out to the community to get behind the project.

Donations and proposals for in-kind support can be made online at https://salvationarmy.org.au/safenightspace, https://hobartcitymission.org.au/safe-night-space or by phoning (03) 6215 4200.

Caption: From left, Minister for Human Services Roger Jaensch, Salvation Army Street to Home team leader Don McCrae and Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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