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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Site selected for major new homelessness support facility

2013-08-06

A site has been selected for a new apartment complex in the heart of Adelaide's Central Business District to house South Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo announced the State Government had reached an agreement with the Adelaide City Council to purchase a site on Mellor Street, in Adelaide's CBD, for a new Common Ground facility.

"Common Ground is an innovative approach to working with disadvantaged people who need support, and it's an approach that has made a real, positive difference in the lives of many South Australians," Mr Piccolo said.

"Through the Common Ground model, the organisation works directly with tenants who are experiencing tough times – connecting them with services such as health, education and personal support – to help them get back on their feet.

"It's especially fitting that this announcement coincides with Australian Homeless Persons Week which, this year, has a theme of 'the hidden homeless' – namely, people who are often moving from place to place, staying with friends or in emergency accommodation.

"This new facility will have a strong focus on families - single parents or small families with one or two children who are either on low incomes or at risk of homelessness.

"Thanks to the support of the Adelaide City Council, we now have an agreement on the new site – showing that this fantastic development has support from all levels of Government."

Mr Piccolo said the new facility will complement Common Ground's existing facilities in Franklin Street and Light Square, as well as their new facility in Port Augusta.

"I'm pleased to see the scope of the project has now been expanded to include 52 units - 26 units for people on low incomes and 26 units for people at risk of homelessness," he said.

"This new complex will feature a common area, kitchen facility and an IT area, ensuring tenants have access to programs to help boost their skills.

"It's just metres away from the Light Square facility, meaning tenants in Mellor Street will be able to take advantage of the medical and dental services available there."

Mr Piccolo said construction work was expected to start early next year, with the new units ready for tenants by the end of 2014.

The Common Ground housing model started in New York City, was first brought to Australia by the South Australian Government, and has since expanded across Australia.

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