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Queensland Government media release

Queensland families seeking emergency shelter will receive a warm welcome thanks to funding from the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said UnitingCare Community (UCC) had been awarded $229,000 in round two of the $2.5 million fund, established in 2016 to support projects that help people experiencing homelessness to live with dignity.

Mr de Brenni said the Dignity First funding will enable UCC to provide a variety of welcome packs to clients seeking assistance through the organisation’s 20 shelters and refuges across Queensland.

“Having to seek emergency accommodation in a crisis shelter or refuge is highly stressful, and the future can seem very uncertain,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Often small gestures can make a huge difference in difficult times, so the welcome packs being provided by UCC can help ease the stress by making sure some immediate needs are met.

“There are six individual welcome packs funded through Dignity First that will provide food, toiletries, cleaning, linen, school and baby necessities.”

UCC has been operating throughout Queensland for over 50 years, starting with the first 24-hour Lifeline Crisis Support service in 1964, and has grown to offer a broad range of crisis support, child and family programs and disability services to over 80 communities across the state.

“UCC employs some 2400 people and has more than 6000 volunteers supporting thousands of people every day throughout Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said.

Grants and Foundations Officer Steve Francis said UCC volunteers and staff would package essential items for each client and take them to each refuge and shelter on an as-needed basis.

“We are delighted that this funding will enable us to provide extra care for people when they need it most,” he said.

“Particularly on the Gold Coast we are seeing a growing number of people presenting for assistance and we are committed to ensuring they receive help.”

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.

“The Fund has proven how much difference you can make with a good idea, a lot of heart and a little money,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The Dignity First Fund has already brought some fantastic ideas to life.

“Young people transitioning out of homelessness are learning how to drive, a mobile barbershop is providing haircuts on the street, and café-style dining is serving up food along with employment and training opportunities.

“Whatever situation you’re in, you have the right to live with dignity, and Dignity First projects help deliver that.”

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