The Shack in Nambour is officially opening the only men’s housing project on the Sunshine Coast, with the help of $500,000 in federal funding secured by Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien.
Designed to integrate homeless men into the community, Gen One includes a community hub for its residents as well as six fully self-contained units, six for residents including one with disability access, as well as a unit for an onsite manager.
The Shack Pastor Dale Dowler said the project would make a huge difference in the lives of the men who would pass through the new facility.
Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien said he was delighted to officially open the facility, with the $500,000 funding provided by the Federal Government, delivering on a 2019 election commitment.
“When Dale approached me in 2019 with plans to build a shelter to house homeless men, the first of its kind between Brisbane and Maryborough, I went to work determined to make it happen,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Seeing this project built is vitally important to men who need help, and it’s a prime example of what can be achieved by local leadership with government support.
“Knowing the extraordinary kindness and capability of Dale and his team at the Shak, I am confident that this purpose-built shelter will be life-changing for countless men who find themselves in trouble.
Pastor Dowler said while the Shack has been providing services to the community’s homeless and vulnerable for over 20 years, this was the organisation’s first housing project.
Pastor Dowler said Homelessness is a complex problem so Gen One is not just about providing a roof over the resident’s head.
“The housing provides a safe space. Gen One will provide wrap-around programs that will provide individualised services to help men transition from hardship and isolation back into active engagement in the community with services including counselling and assistance with training and gaining employment.
The Gen One units have been purpose-built and are a result of collaboration between local designer Graham Green and builder Al and Julie Lennox. Their work, combined with invaluable support from government agencies, suppliers and local tradespeople, has created individual self-contained spaces, as well as a community hub where residents can come together and access services.
Pastor Dowler said the residents would also be able to access the Shack’s other services and programs, which currently assist more than 14,000 people a year.
Pastor Dowler said the site of the new centre was an important one, provided by the Lanham family, who had been stalwarts of Nambour for more than 110 years.
“The Lanham’s and in particular the family’s matriarch Peggy Lanham have been committed to the local community for more than a century and that is why we are proud to honour Peggy and the Lanham family by naming the main entry into Gen One, Peggy Lane,” Pastor Dowler said.
Tim and David Lanham, who continue to be part of the Sunshine Mitre 10 group as well as representing the Lanham Family Trust, said they were really touched to have their mother honoured as part of the project.
“The Nambour community is part of our family’s history, and we are proud to be part of this project. Mum and Dad would be so pleased to see the legacy left by their passing being used to support some of our community’s most vulnerable,’’ Tim Lanham said.