Longer contracts for homelessness services lauded

Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is thrilled the state government has committed to longer, five-year contracts for funding of homelessness services.

The increased contract length will give greater certainty to frontline homelessness services, enabling them to put longer-term strategies and solutions in place.

QCOSS CEO Mark Henley says the government should be congratulated.

“This is an excellent outcome for Queenslanders experiencing homelessness and the community services organisations who support them,” Mr Henley said.

“Homelessness is an issue that transcends electoral terms and budget cycles and these five-year contracts recognise that.

“Safe shelter is a basic right and we are excited that organisations will now be able to operate from a place of certainty that will enable greater headway into addressing this issue.”

QCOSS is also pleased with the government’s streamlined renewal process for projects that are meeting outcomes and looks forward to working alongside the government to ensure this model best meets the needs of the community and the community sector itself.

“Worrying about funding is a distraction for services that provide essential support for some of the community’s most vulnerable people,” Mr Henley said.

“This model will ensure successful projects will be able to maintain focus on the bigger picture.”

On Census night 2011, 19,838 Queenslanders were homeless. Nearly 5,500 of these were under the age of 18 and 24 per cent (of the total) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons.

QCOSS will continue to lobby the state and federal governments for long-term commitments to reducing homelessness.

For more than 50 years QCOSS has worked throughout Queensland to eliminate poverty and inequality.

QCOSS is an independent non-government organisation representing close to 600 organisations and individuals throughout Queensland.