Generous support for homeless plan

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Taking it to the streets: Frankston councillor Glenn Aitken accepts generous donations from Frankston residents in support of a trial project to provide low-cost rental homes to the homeless. Picture: Yanni

Taking it to the streets: Frankston councillor Glenn Aitken accepts generous donations from Frankston residents in support of a trial project to provide low-cost rental homes to the homeless. Picture: Yanni

FRANKSTON shoppers have dug deep into their pockets to support a council backed initiative to house homeless people.

Frankston Council will trial a 12-month program, due to begin in July, to offer three homes to nine homeless individuals for minimal rent in an effort to help turn lives around (‘Magpies plan spreads wings’, The Times 1/4/15).

The ‘Magpies Nest’ model has been successfully piloted by Collingwood Football Club and helps people sleeping rough on the streets or in unsafe rooming houses.

A similar scheme in the US to offer homes to the homeless called Housing First, first trialled in Salt Lake City in Utah, has been rolled out to other US cities since it has been proven to save government money in the long term.

Cr Glenn Aitken and volunteers hit the streets of Frankston earlier this month for two day to “rattle buckets” for the cause.

Passersby donated about $2500 over two days at Shannon Mall.

“There were people putting in $50 notes,” Cr Aitken said.

“Some people said they had been homeless themselves and were happy to give money because they’d been there.”

Salvation Army records show 2,200 “unique clients” sought emergency housing in Frankston in 2012-13 and there are 600 “repeat clients”.

To make a donation visit the front counter at Frankston Civic Centre, 30 Davey St, Frankston or post a cheque to ‘The Homeless Fund’, Frankston City Council, PO Box 490, Frankston.

Call council on 1300 322 322 for further details.

First published in the Frankston Times – 11 May 2015

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