Despite suffering the most intense social exclusion imaginable, Melbourne’s homeless are optimistic. Twice a year, City of Melbourne interviews people ‘sleeping rough’ to better understand the community as part of its Street Count initiative. While only 3 of the 83 participants in the 2015 study found permanent accommodation, all were optimistic that they would find a home in the next 6 months. When asked what would make a difference in the meantime, the number one request from those still ‘sleeping rough’ was access to more shower and washing facilities.
Expanding their Pay a Sack Forward social enterprise, which provides survival kits to the homeless, Co-Founders, Michael Stafford and Ryan Everett, are raising funds for HOMEBASE, a purpose built facility where individuals can access basic services and vital support in a safe, community environment. HOMEBASE has been created to cater for the growing and ever changing needs of the homeless population and offers volume based facilities and services not previously available.
With their proven formula for tapping community goodwill to create reliable revenue streams, Stafford and Everett will also use the facility for their existing social enterprises to secure a strong financial future for HOMEBASE. With sustainability central to their philosophy, the centre design will minimise both environmental impact and ongoing maintenance costs. As a state of the art facility it will offer unparalleled access to services and support networks that have been specifically designed for assisting homeless communities.
With safety and dignity priority, the centre will consist of 5 environmentally conscious modules, each with 4 purpose built pods so up to 20 guests will have access to:
All within the safety and comfort of their own private quarters.
Once these duties have been completed, guests will be invited to join twice daily meal service in a communal dining area. Fitted with cafe style communal eating tables guests will be encouraged to share stories and experiences, promoting the HOMEBASE ethos:
“Everyone has a purpose, Everyone has a place.”
With space to expand service delivery to include other providers such as medical, dental and skill development, it is hoped that HOMEBASE will assist homeless individuals gain the foot up they need to reintegrate into a prosperous, growth based society. By providing access to vital services, homeless communities can attain skills that help them get back on track to a self created, stable future.
For more information about how you can help, visit their website: Pay a Sack Forward
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