Chairman’s Rallying Cry

(Relevant extract from  Mick Brosnans’ speech to SJA members on July 8th.)

I just want to focus on the housing / homeless crisis situation in our shire for the moment please .
Homelessness is in CRISIS.
Something has to be done — NOW.

We’ve been providing PRACTICAL support for our BV homeless for nine years.
Here I want to refer to societal homelessness in BV — not directly related fire / disaster caused homelessness.
I know they are related in many ways , but let’s address BV societal homelessness .

We have 8 vans housing homeless tonight.
Six uses of the SJH facility since reopening four weeks ago.
Trying to get the Bega Showground Facility usage to be more flexible!
Is this all just bandaid that hides the reality to our community??? YES it is BUT …….
We need to raise awareness.
We need to provide more dignity.
ULTIMETLY I would love the SJA to address the causes but for now I will remain realistic.

Why should SJA  be the one to respond to the BV homelessness?——-
Because no one else is!!!! -(all levels of government meet , talk and strategise but …..)
Because we CAN.
Because we  DO.

Because of our history of action for the BV homeless ; especially collaboration with the service providers,
We are advocating on a daily basis through our support — even if it bandaids the crisis;
This includes our continued provision of furniture and white goods.
N.B. – SJA don’t WANT to be housing providers,  but, we have evolved to provide  the homeless with immediate crisis support because
NO ONE ELSE  is responding!!!!!!!!!

– attended and lobbied BVSC at meetings directly.
– advocated for maintenance of housing stock with the BVSC many times.
– continued to participate in council strategy committees planning housing strategies.
– Lobbied state government through Andrew Constance regularly.
– Discussed with the federal government through our local member regularly, albeit not directly involved.
– Been liaising with Southern Tenancy the large housing provider in our shire continually – Operated our crisis caravan programme for eight years.
– co operated and liaised with all the BV service providers with vans , furniture , goods etc.
– built and operated the SJH facility for crisis accommodation.
– purchased and operated a crisis unit at the Merimbula Lake Holiday Park for the last nearly five years – recently sold.
– refurbished and operated the crisis facility at the Bega Showgrounds – not hugely successful.


* The housing sub group determined at its last meeting to
– raise awareness and gather stats to publicise the homeless issue in order to
– raise money to supplement our fund to replace our transitional unit

Because we CAN  and because we DO, our community recognises us as the go-to organisation.
Bendigo Community Bank has recently donated $5000 to the Sleep On It event AND very significantly $ 10,000 to support a community group looking to support people on the cliff of rental crisis.
Rotary Club of Pambula continues to support SJA with its LATEST funding for the last caravan purchase. $2500.
CWA regional and CWA Pambula have annually supported our homeless initiatives.

ALSO, *** for the first time ever *** , all of our community service providers have combined in an awareness and fund raising event; this reflects the desperation, PRESSURE and frustration they feel.

The Sleep On It event in the Bega Showgrounds has been postponed until further notice. It is designed to —
– raise  awareness of the crisis that is homelessness and
– raise funds for the SJA to continue and extend our work

*** The Motorfest event in Pambula on September 26th will again
– raise funds for the SJA to continue and extend our work

*** the local Band, The Figmentz, with  David Crowden leading the charge ( SJA member ), is organising a 6 hour music festival on November 21st at Oaklands to

  • raise awareness of the crisis that homelessness in the BV AND
  • Raise funds  for the SJA to continue and extend our work  

YES – it is because we ARE responding that our BV community is supporting SJA through these three major community events .
So In preparing for the publicity for these three supporting events , we have to decided to launch a $ 100,000 homelessness campaign throughout our shire .
— raise money for a replacement unit for our homeless in the BV
We will concentrate the publicity for these three events through ONE CAMPAIGN

To raise money to replace the SJA unit as this facility without doubt achieved the greatest impact on the lives of its guests over its nearly five years .
We want this unit, (and any other facilities)  to be considered a BV COMMUNITY crisis unit.
BV Community raises the awareness
BV Community raises the funds
BV Community houses the homeless
SJA co ordinates the housing campaign .  

** THIS, as often stated, is our core business.
Our sub-group started the direction of awareness and fund raising.
** The community – simultaneously – EXTENDED this direction.
** It is NOT  our only advocacy at all — but it is fundamental to our community work.
This is but one of our activities from one of our subgroups.
** The campaign / the unit, will NOT solve homelessness.
     IT IS OUR COMMUNITY that will respond with empathy, compassion and real assistance.

I urge all members to get behind this HOMELESSNESS CAMPAIGN please
I urge all members to get behind the fund raising events please with practical help on the day and if not possible then attendance .
One homeless person in our community is our shame AND RESPONSIBILITY .LET’S CONTINUE TO LEAD FOLKS PLEASE
What can I do ?  How may I help ?

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