Catholic agencies respond positively to issue of homelessness

The Catholic Church in Tasmania, through its non-profit entities, is working closely with state, federal and local governments to help alleviate the chronic shortage of social and affordable housing in Tasmania.

Centacare Evolve Housing (CEH) supports more than 5,000 Tasmanians in need of safe and affordable housing. Established in 2014 to manage homes in Hobart’s northern suburbs, CEH has grown to manage a substantial portfolio of social and affordable homes across the state.

CEH is responsible for managing tenants, maintaining, and upgrading homes, and redeveloping sites to provide greater housing diversity, increase the housing tenure mix and improve the quality of life for residents.

The commitment to enhance the wellbeing of communities is underpinned by Catholic social teaching and demonstrated by offering tenants and those seeking secure accommodation access to services and programs provided by the CEH Community Wellbeing Team and CatholicCare Tasmania.

These ‘wrap around’ services include employment support, children’s services, parenting support, counselling, family violence, multicultural and referral services in a strategic and focused manner.

The Church is also committed to investing in the construction of new social and affordable housing via partnerships with other for-purpose groups, faith-based organisations and government housing and building initiatives.

For example, a partnership between the St Vincent de Paul Society, Centacare Evolve Housing and the Tasmanian Government will deliver a $10m affordable home development in Smithton.

A social enterprise of the Church in Tasmania, St Joseph Affordable Homes was established to complete the Church’s social and affordable building projects while providing trade qualifications in a range of construction areas gained through an in-house apprenticeship and life-coaching scheme, Build Up Tassie.

Catholic agencies in Tasmania also support those experiencing homelessness, those at risk of homelessness, and in need of accommodation in times of health crisis.

This support is achieved through the provision of a range of 24-hour emergency and crisis accommodation houses and facilities, including provision of placements for young people in care.

These services are open to a wide range of people, including those needing low-cost accommodation due to the necessity to travel for medical needs, and people who have experienced problems with family violence, mental health issues, alcohol and substance abuse, unemployment and/or imprisonment. In addition to providing a place of security and comfort when people need it the most, emergency housing and accommodation services connect people with support services and networks that provide both immediate and long-term assistance.

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