Goulburn Street an important stepping stone

If you travel regularly through Hobart’s CBD you’ve probably noticed the colourful balcony displays on the Barrack Street side of an accommodation complex known simply as ‘Goulburn Street’.

Inside there are courtyards featuring edible gardens, artwork displays, sunny spaces for sharing meals, relaxing, gym classes and making art, as well as 47 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Anglicare Tasmania has managed Goulburn Street on behalf of the State Government for the past two years using a ‘strength-based’ model that focuses on building independence.

Senior Support Worker David Thornton (pictured above) describes Goulburn St as a positive, inclusive community.

“We have residents aged from 19 – 75 from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences and it’s a great place to live, but we think it’s also important to show people that they can have a life ‘outside’,” he explains.

“We link residents with services related to mental health and drug and alcohol use, financial counselling and job readiness and work together on goal-setting. Something as simple as learning how to use the library has been life-changing for one gentleman: it’s now a part of his daily routine and is opening up all kinds of options for him.”

David says he’s happiest when he is able to farewell a resident moving to independent living. “If we have someone who feels so confident and secure in their health and wellbeing that they want to take that next step and find a new place to live we’ve done our job well,” he says.

When one door closes, another opens

When a resident departs, it opens up an opportunity for someone else in need. There are currently around 200 people on the waiting list for an apartment at Goulburn Street.

Seventeen residents moved from the complex into the private rental market in Hobart in the past 12 months.

Regular Snapshot readers may remember Melissa, who moved into Goulburn Street five years ago. It’s been a long journey and there have been many obstacles, but during this time she has gained a fine arts degree from the University of Tasmania and undertaken an artist’s residency in India.

Melissa moved into a new flat in a block of privately-owned units six weeks ago and she is very upbeat about this new development in her life. She has moved her art practice online and is also working as a barista.

“I am just so grateful to everyone at Goulburn Street for their support,” she says. “It’s given me a safe, solid base to learn how to interact with people, how to be a responsible tenant, how to set boundaries and learn things that other people may take for granted.

“I’m the healthiest I’ve been – both physically and mentally – for decades.  I’m proof that with support, people can transform themselves and create a fantastic future.”

How do I find out more?

Housing Connect is your one-stop-shop for free information and advice on anything housing-related, including emergency and supported accommodation. To find out more, please call Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.

Everyone Needs a Home

This Homelessness Week, the “Everyone Needs a Home” campaign message is being championed right across Australia.

Anglicare Tasmania CEO Dr Chris Jones said there is an urgent need for further investment in safe, secure and affordable social housing.

“Announcements from the State Government in recent months as part of its coronavirus response have been very welcome,” said Chris.  “Additional funding for emergency accommodation, mental health supports, safe overnight spaces and expanded facilities for young people experiencing homelessness represents a significant investment, but we believe more is necessary to meet the critical demand for housing”.

Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot released earlier this year estimated Tasmania would need 14,000 social housing dwellings built over the next two decades.

“Social housing complements the private rental market – it’s essential infrastructure that will create jobs for Tasmanians and set us on the road to economic recovery in the wake of COVID- 19,” said Chris.

 

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