Call to help boost youth housing

Published 9:00am 19 August 2022

Call to help boost youth housing
Words by Kylie Knight

The community is being urged to support Chameleon Housing’s bid to open a second share house for young people needing emergency accommodation.

A major fundraising effort is now underway, with community developer Ausbuild backing the Housing for Happiness Gala at Redcliffe Leagues Club on August 23. An online silent auction is now live and the community can also make donations online.

The event and fundraising campaign are proudly supported by Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT), New Zealand Warriors and Redcliffe Dolphins.

Chameleon Housing is a not-for-profit specialist homeless service which has been assisting young people aged 16-25 years, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, for more than 30 years.

It provides safe and affordable accommodation on the Redcliffe peninsula and surrounding areas and the team works with young people to help them take control of their lives in a supported, strength-based environment.

They encourage and support people to assess their goals and begin the process to achieve them. They also work with families to help young parents and their children build a bright future.

Chameleon Housing Chief Executive Officer Carmel Riethmuller says the charity provides a long-term accommodation option and support for young people at its Kippa-Ring share house.

“I think that we make a huge difference because we provide a safety net, we provide the pseudo role of parent to the young people. We’re not their family and we don’t want to pretend we are their family, but we do in some ways fill the role of a person that cares for them, supports them and the support we provide is quite unconditional,” Ms Riethmuller says.

“Young people, when they come to us, have experienced a lot of trauma. They have been through some really horrendous situations.”

Bid for a second house

“We have been wanting for a long time to open another share house for young people in our region. In the Moreton Bay Region, there are only nine beds for young people and we get hundreds upon hundreds of who need our support,” Ms Riethmuller says.

“They have nowhere to stay and are sleeping rough on the street, are couch-surfing or staying with their friends and from night to night don’t know where they’re going to sleep. This is why we really would love to open another house for young people.

|“What we are wanting to open is a 24-hour supported accommodation facility. It will be staffed around the clock, so the amount of money we are looking for is quite significant.|

“Now’s the time to do it. I don’t think the timing is ever going to be perfect but now with the support of Ausbuild – who I can’t thank enough for being the impetus that’s going to kick this off – and the Warriors and Dolphins for stepping up we have this opportunity.

“I’d just ask you all to get behind it and let’s make this happen now. These are our young people. They are a valuable resource for the future. Everybody deserves a chance and this is about giving young people a chance.”

How to support the cause

The community can support the fundraising effort by bidding in the online silent auction or making a donation via the website https://app.galabid.com/ausbuildgala/register . They simply need to register and can either make a donation or a bid on items including a car, holidays, memorabilia, jewellery, events and more.

The auction closes on August 23. Successful bidders will be notified via SMS.

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