Major step forward for homelessness services in Port Augusta
The provision of homelessness support services in Port Augusta has taken a major stepforward today, with the official opening of a new Common Ground homelessness service by Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo and Senator Alex Gallacher.
The new homelessness service includes 35 new units over two sites, in Boston Street and Augusta Terrace.
"Common Ground is about more than putting a roof over someone's head – it's about giving them a place to call home, where they can get the supports and services they need to turn their lives around," Mr Piccolo said.
"It's a unique way of breaking the cycle of homelessness, and helping disadvantaged South Australians get their lives back on track.
"Through Common Ground, residents are supported to undertake training and skill development to help them into employment.
"By providing a safe, secure place to live and linking them to these supports, we're working to help these residents get the skills needed to contribute both socially and economically."
Common Ground in Port Augusta includes 15 rental units available through redeveloped and refurbished Housing SA units on Boston Street, and a new purpose-built facility at Augusta Terrace, featuring 20 self-contained units.
Mr Piccolo said the Augusta Terrace facility also featured communal spaces including a veggie garden and office, and meeting spaces for support services and training activities.
"This is about giving residents a sense of community – helping them to engage with others, and the broader community," he said.
Mr Piccolo said he was pleased to see local artwork incorporated into the design of the development.
"It is great to see artworks included in this development helping to create a community feel and link together the site and the culture of the area," he said.
Common Ground manages both sites, and is supported by key partnerships with other local services.
The Salvation Army will provide support services to the residents, and Uniting Care Wesley Country SA will provide site and property management services.
The Common Ground Port August project was jointly funded by State and Federal Governments with contributions of $2.8 million each, a total of $5.6 million overall.
The State Government is also providing $250,000 a year in ongoing funding for the Common Ground Port Augusta service.
"Our support for this service reflects our commitment to delivering lasting solutions to end homelessness," Mr Piccolo said.
"I'm sure this new Common Ground development will deliver long-term benefits to both residents and the broader community."