Toowoomba Hub assisting people in need
A new one-stop-shop connecting vulnerable people with housing and support services has opened in Toowoomba.
The Toowoomba Housing Hub brings together the local housing and homelessness sector, community organisations and the Department of Housing and Public Works, all in one place, where people are welcomed, assessed and connected with service providers who can assist them.
Anna Falconer, concierge of the Toowoomba Housing Hub says there are many challenges for vulnerable people in the Toowoomba and South-West region.
“If someone has a bad rental history, it follows. Particularly for women.”
At the Hub clients are assessed and linked to services from a range of community and government organisations including housing, homelessness, disability support, mental health and outreach services.
Anna says that many women who are victims of domestic and family violence are disadvantaged when it comes to housing prospects and rental history.
“A lady came in recently, she’d been experiencing DV, it wasn’t reported to the real estate agent, there were rent arrears, so she was going to get a bad reference,” says Anna.
“We’re now working with her to have a conversation with the agent to get the rent ledger, find the pattern as to when the DV started, and when the arrears started, so we can explain that. We’ve helped her approach the agent and explain her situation. Otherwise other agents will see rent arrears and she’ll be disadvantaged when applying for other properties.”
“In this lady’s situation, it was out of her control as her abusive husband was taking the money and not paying the rent.”
This is just one example of how staff at the Toowoomba Housing Hub are helping people every day.
The Hub is a partnership with the Toowoomba and South-West Housing Service Centre and Lifeline Darling Downs which coordinates the community organisations involved in the Hub including Yellowbridge Queensland, Salvation Army, Ozcare, YWCA, United Synergies, Mission Australia, Richmond Fellowship, Tenant Advocacy Support Centre, Uniting Care Financial Services, Mercy Family Services, Australian Red Cross and St Vincent de Paul.
For more information visit the Hub at 10 Russell Street or go to their website www.qld.gov.au/toowoombahousinghub.