Former tennis pro and Property Industry Foundation ambassador Jelena Dokic and Hamilton Ward Councillor Julia Dixon joined property professionals to sleep rough last Thursday at Eat Street Northshore in Hamilton with the aim of raising awareness and funds to build homes for Queensland’s homeless youths.
The funding raised from the Backseat SleepOut will go towards the Foundation’s next housing project – Haven House Kingaroy – the second of its kind to be built in Southeast Queensland in less than three months and the fourth project in 12 months.
This housing project in Southeast Queensland follows the latest census data which reported the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people in 2021 were for those in the age groups 19-24 Years.
Homelessness rates across children under 12 years increased by 11.17 per cent (totalling 17,646 people) and those aged 12 to 18 increased by 13.53 per cent (totalling 11,302 people).
Haven House Kingaroy will be built in partnership with South Burnett CTC, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to support the needs of disadvantaged people in the South Burnett region.
With the main drivers of homelessness being domestic and family violence3, upon completion, the purpose-built property will contribute to the protection and well-being of Queensland’s most vulnerable.
Property Industry Foundation Queensland State Manager Antoinette Rusby-Perera, who also participated in the Backseat SleepOut, said last week’s event was a successful yet eye-opening event.
“Thousands of young Queenslanders don’t have a safe or stable home and are forced to couch surf, sleep in cars or on the street, so it was inspiring to see the industry come together overnight to support the homeless youth crisis,” said Rusby-Perera.
“Spending the night in their cars showed our participants the harsh reality of what many homeless people face, especially amid the current housing crisis and the increasing cost of living pressures.”
“The money raised from the event will go towards our exciting new Haven House Project in Kingaroy, managed by South Burnett CTC to provide much-needed transitional housing for young people in the South Burnett region”.
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.