Homeless, not hopeless

Habitat for Humanity, founded in the US in 1976 and now operating on a global scale, is helping to provide homes for the vulnerable in Baw Baw Shire in Victoria.

Habitat for Humanity works with communities, volunteers, sponsors, churches and partner families to build safe, decent, affordable housing for those in need, working on the principle of giving a ‘hand up’, not a ‘hand out’.

One of the aims of the organisation is to contribute to breaking the cycle of despair that comes with homelessness, and in turn to improve health, education and lifestyle outcomes.

Habitat for Humanity has recently completed two houses in Warragul for disadvantaged families and is about to start building three houses in Drouin. This work was supported by Baw Baw Shire Council’s 2011 Mayoral Charity Gala, which raised more than $33,500.

Now, The Baw Baw Housing Action Group (BBHAG) – with the assistance of Quantum, the Baw Baw Community Conversations program, and the Council – is staging a great debate, with the topic, ‘Only the Hopeless are Homeless?’. Mayor of Baw Baw Shire, Councillor Diane Blackwood said that it was very important that as many people as possible come to the debate in September.

“Whether we like it or not, part of being a community is having a duty of care for those around us. I’m very proud of Baw Baw residents’ commitment to helping others in our community. The problem with homelessness, though, is that it tends to be invisible.

“The ‘Only the Hopeless are Homeless?’ debate will not only help people to see the problem, it will help people understand what they can do to help. Working on a Habitat for Humanity house is a great place to start.”

Contact Habitat for Humanity visit: http://www.habitat.org.au