Despite it's reputation for spectacular beaches and rural hinterland, the Sunshine Coast is facing significant challenges in terms of homelessness.
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre Inc. is seeking support to purchase a converted sleep bus for those experiencing homelessness on the Sunshine Coast. The bus will be built, operated and maintained by Victorian Organisation sleepbus®. The bus is fitted out with up to 20 secure, climate controlled,individual sleep pods in twin cabins, each with a lockable door and toilet.
The cost to build the sleepbus® is $100,000 which may sound a lot, but keeping people homeless on the Coast costs upwards of $30,000 per person per year. The federal government spends $15,000 on average per person on services, however, people experiencing homelessness cost almost $30,000 or more for the same services than those stably housed. $14,507 more on health services and $5,906 in criminal justice services than the general population per person.
The combination of no men’s emergency shelter and extremely limited accommodation for women within the sunshine coast, high rents and a critical shortage of affordable housing rentals, has created severe housing stress among a significant portion of the community and forced a significant number into temporary or permanent homelessness.
When people become homeless, they are uprooted from their homes, family, friends, neighbours, and their community. While experiencing homelessness, it is very challenging to cook, store food and do things that many of us take for granted
like sleeping, taking a shower, brushing our teeth, going to the bathroom, and washing clothes. It can also be hard to find or maintain work, school and/or care for pets.
Homeless people stay in cars, tents, parks, under bridges, on the streets and bushland.
They may also live temporarily with friends, family and occasionally in cheap motels. People experiencing homelessness who live rough in public spaces often experience unprovoked acts of violence and other traumatic events or are fined for sleeping in a parked car or have it removed due to being unregistered.
The effects of homelessness are significant and can be long-lasting. Homeless people experience great physical and mental stress, which can result in health challenges that exacerbate pre-existing conditions and disabilities.
There have been a number people who have been exited into homelessness from Sunshine Coast hospitals post-op and recovery and after receiving chemotherapy treatments, experienced domestic violence, sexual assaults, and other traumatic events that led to increased feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, and isolation.
Many homeless people do not have access to regular medical, physical or mental health care treatment, education and job training opportunities. All of these challenges make it difficult to enhance skills they may have had in the past, earn a living and move forward with life.
It is often said, “Housing is healthcare.” Housing is safety and security. Housing provides a stable launchpad from which people can get and keep a job, address mental illness and substance use, take care of their health and nutrition, and find
purposeful roles in the community.
As stated earlier the $100,000 may sound a lot, but compared to the cost of doing nothing it's essentially “chicken feed”.
· Bus purchase and build $80,000
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->· Operational readiness and delivery to service area $20,000
Once the $100k has been raised and donated to Sleepbus®, the build begins and depending on current build
schedule, takes approximately 12-16 weeks to build and begin service. This may be longer due to the COVID -19 Pandemic and transportation to Queensland.
<!--[endif]-->sleepbus® is responsible for and manages all operational requirements, including running costs of the service. This ongoing service cost is covered via sponsorship of the service; $35-$50k per year.
<!--[endif]-->The sleepbus® organisation owns the sleepbus® vehicle and runs the service; they do not sell their vehicles or “franchise” the service operation to third parties.
When we provide shelter, the way people live their lives changes dramatically. However, if we continue to keep people chronically homeless, our taxes need to be directed towards hospital beds, ambulance and police callouts, hospital
emergency admittance's, administration costs, and the criminal justice system.
For further information on this fundraising initiative or to learn more about sleepbus® go to www.sleepbus.org or phone Mark at Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre on 07 5443 6696.
Event InformationMonday 11th May 08:30
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre Inc