Plans of ac­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Dou­glas Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Group Home­less­ness Pro­ject is tak­ing steps to help re­duce the num­ber of home­less peo­ple liv­ing in the Dou­glas re­gion and im­prove ser­vices.

Of the 31 rec­om­men­da­tions listed in the Home­less­ness in Dou­glas re­port, which was re­leased ear­lier this year, 16 plans of ac­tion have been de­vel­oped to ad­dress the is­sue.

DCHG mem­ber and Moss­man Com­mu­nity Cen­tre com­mu­nity coun­sel­lor Michelle Philp said the ac­tions are be­ing part­nered with rel­e­vant agen­cies.

‘‘One ac­tion is to es­tab­lish a re­fer­ral path­way be­tween Lo­tus Glen and the sup­port ser­vices, which will en­tail go­ing up to Lo­tus Glen when guys are about to be re­leased and meet with com­mu­nity cen­tres to say what Moss­man or Port Dou­glas can of­fer,’’ she said.

‘‘They will hope­fully be more aware about what ser­vices are avail­able within our area and hope­fully lead to less re­of­fend­ing and less breaches of pa­role con­di­tions.

‘‘There is the same process with the hos­pi­tal so peo­ple are dis­charged into sta­ble ac­com­mo­da­tion and link­ing with the proper pro­grams, like re­turn to coun­try with the po­lice ser­vices.’’

Work­ing with peo­ple to main­tain ten­an­cies and pro­vid­ing on­go­ing sup­port is an­other ini­tia­tive to re­duce home­less­ness and over­crowd­ing.

DCHG has also been con­fer­ring with ser­vices, which pre­dom­i­nantly only ser­vice Cairns up to Palm Cove, and will con­tinue to find ways to bring es­sen­tial ser­vices to the re­gion to help those in need.

‘‘We have so many hur­dles and bar­ri­ers and that’s one of the things we are try­ing to do, col­late a list of ser­vices that op­er­ate in our area - that list is very short,’’ Ms Philp said.

The next step is to fur­ther de­velop the ac­tion plans and con­tinue to lobby for fund­ing.

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