Great ideas can make a big difference
- Last updated:
- 3 July 2020 10:00AM
- First published:
- 24 June 2020 3:52PM
For people like Matthias, the Dignity First Fund can mean the extra support they need to get their life back on track.
Matthias never expected to end up homeless and needing help.
“I had a stressful job as a project manager. Then my relationship broke down, and then I lost my job,” said Matthias.
“I couldn’t cope."
“When I got evicted, I moved from place to place before I went to Queensland Housing.They referred me to St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies), and Vinnies supported me with a studio apartment with my own bathroom,” Matthias said.
Matthias started to get involved in what was going on around him at the Mackay community hub.
Vinnies were offering communal meals, activities and health support – all funded under the second round of the department’s $2.5 million Dignity First Fund.
The Fund supports projects from community organisations that help people transition from homelessness. Each project is based on a practical idea to prevent the cycle of homelessness and improve the lives of people experiencing it first-hand.
“I got involved because it felt like the right thing to do,” said Matthias.
“I helped wash up. I mowed the lawn and started to make friends with other residents.”
Matthias says the program has given him a sense of purpose and his life is stable again. He took inspiration from his rehabilitation officer and started studying to work in community support.
“I just wanted to help back,” he said.
“I’ve finished studying a certificate in disability support and I’ve started looking for a job.
“I feel pretty good now and I’ve met some really nice people.”
The Mackay Vinnies received further funding under the fourth round of the Fund to continue supporting vulnerable Queenslanders through counselling, essential items, fitness sessions and community nurse visits.
These initiatives will aim to improve confidence and self-esteem and empower residents to maintain stable housing.
Learn more about Dignity First.