Homeless and Housing Report 2022

First – a shout out from Mick for anyone who can help with the installation of the second unit at Pambula:

We can use any help at all during next week with the installation of our second SJA ( community) crisis unit at the Pambula rec ground caravan park

– any time at all between 8 am and 4 pm

No building skills necessary , no heavy lifting just all the small jobs to make the unit complete The first unit completed today presents really very well with its verandah now installed. 

Homeless and Housing report 2022 

Hi Folks 

The most significant advance for the SJA homeless sub group during 2021 / 22 has been the most successful It’s Up To Us campaign . 

** This It’s Up To Us campaign was launched at the meeting in July 2021 following the 2021 AGM .

With over $188,000 raised throughout our community the SJA has certainly raised the awareness of the homeless within our community AND raised the money to purchase up to six units . ( as determined to be the most cost effective available) .

Now – today, SJA received another $ 50,000 donation to the campaign fund from a local philanthropic group . WOW !!!! — $238,000 raised through the campaign .

We are at the time of writing installing the first of two units delivered last Friday .

It is hoped that these two units will be occupied by the time of our 2022 AGM . 

NOTE – both of these units have been allocated to single mums in such difficult circumstances. 

Massive thanks to ALL involved in the planning and fund raising throughout the shire — generosity continues to astound me especially after the demands made following fires and floods . 

I must mention Mark Smith and Bill Foxwell without whose voluntary work the units would not become a reality . 

Two more units are ordered for the Uniting Church site in Bega . Final administrative arrangements are well in hand for these to be delivered later in 

July .  I want to thank David Gallan and all the Tathra Uniting Church congregation for their massive support and most significant initiative for social and affordable housing in the heart of Bega — absolutely Christian faith in action . 

We are still seeking suitable land for two units in Eden. !

** Meanwhile the demand for our SJA caravans continues with approximately twenty people sleeping in these vans every night . 

We thank Geof Prigge for his continued support with refurbishing as required.

The 75 fire caravans are mostly still being utilised throughout the shire . 

    ** Our long standing overnight accommodation facility in Merimbula, St James House , continues to be monitored by a very patient and sympathetic group  of members ; Thank you very much to all concerned .

Whilst I firmly believe there is an important role for this facility in our community, it remains infrequently utilised for many reasons.  One such reason is that the demand of single or several nights is relatively uncommon, whilst Link To Homes provides similar accommodation through the local motels.

When used it is very effective and has often led people into other accommodation such as our other caravans or rentals or moving on to other places . 

** We have had two substantial camper trailers donated and we are presently trying to sell the first ( Geof P ) to raise funds to support this programme. 

** We continue to lobby for the return to our community of the Nullica Lodge facility in Eden. This facility, if operated by Anglicare, will provide 7 independent aged accommodation units and ten independent disability units.

I am meeting with several Eden leaders to push for the return to the Eden community .

** Generally there is a massive demand for housing throughout our shire. The paucity and cost of any available rental accommodation is staggering and impacts more and more of our needy neighbours. We must continue to lobby for ALL possible avenues of community accommodation. 

** Furniture demand and recycling is still happening although the lack of available units and houses has led to a noticeable decline on the demand side .

** SJA continues to partner with Rotary Club of Pambula with the delivery of sheds and bathrooms to the long suffering fire survivors. This project known as the Sanitation project has just started the next 14 units being delivered . 

Again this initiative would not happen with SJA without the continued generous work of Mark Smith and Bill Foxwell – without question vital volunteers.

** It is essential to recognise and continue to support these fire ( and flood ) impacted  folks whose lives continue to be totally disrupted by the disaster of two and a half years ago . 

We can always use help for this initiative- many hands make ……!!

** As partnering members of the Affordable Housing strategy management committee we are very pleased that this strategy was passed by the incoming Bega council and we look forward to the coming year with implementation strategies to be developed . 

We urge council to plan for affordable housing ACTION NOW . 

Thanks to all who participate and support our community initiatives.

Mick Brosnan 

Housing / homeless sub group convenor .