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Queensland Government Media Release, Minister for Housing and Public Works Hon Mick de Brenni

Logan people experiencing homelessness will be better connected to family, friends and support services with YFS today named as a recipient of the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said YFS will receive $55,000 from the Dignity First Fund to provide eight secure mobile phone charging stations for people experiencing homelessness in the Logan region.

Mr de Brenni said the Dignity First Fund was designed to encourage innovative, non-traditional ideas to help people experiencing homelessness through the hard times.

“We live in a digital age – whether it’s applying for jobs, contacting Centrelink, or just staying in touch with friends and family, smartphones have become a necessary part of everyday life for all of us.

“People who are homeless rely on their phones even more, and when you don’t have a place to live, finding ways to keep phones charged can be a huge challenge.”

Member for Waterford Shannon Fentiman said the project will have particular significance for people escaping domestic and family violence.

“We know that domestic and family violence is a huge factor in homelessness, and for anyone escaping a violent home situation, contact with supportive friends and support services is absolutely critical,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We also know that strong social and family relationships help people to move out of homelessness and in to stable accommodation.”

YFS CEO Cath Bartolo said project work will be undertaken by the organisation’s social enterprise, Substation33, which provides supported work experience options for disadvantaged job seekers repairing and upcycling electronic components.

“The fact that Substation 33 is using recycled materials makes this project even more exciting,” Ms Bartolo said.

“It’s sustainable, it’s environmentally friendly, and it will provide work experience options for disadvantaged job seekers.”

Mr de Brenni said YFS would also receive funding of $171,000 per annum, for two years, to deliver new services to local youth experiencing homelessness.

“This mobile service will ensure young people who are sleeping rough, couch surfing or struggling to maintain a tenancy, can get help no matter where they are,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Homelessness is a complex issue which requires a sophisticated response.”

“But while we work toward longer term solutions, there are many wonderful community organisations like YFS who are helping people to live with dignity,” said Mr de Brenni.

“Everyone has the right to live with dignity irrespective of the situation they may find themselves in.

“It is also an opportunity for us to show these vulnerable members of our community that they have not been forgotten and that we are working to help them out of this situation.”