Pathways out of Homelessness Grant Program Guidelines

The Pathways out of Homelessness Grant Program (the program) provides funding to support Brisbane residents out of homelessness through new and innovative solutions that provide collaborative, integrated and sustainable pathways.

The program provides an opportunity for eligible organisations to apply for funding of up to $450,000 total over three years, or funding from $20,000 to $200,000 for one year.

Applications for this grant are closed. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in February 2020.

Learn about the Pathways out of Homelessness Grant Program:


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, homelessness in Brisbane has increased by 32% between 2011 and 2016, to 5,813 people. Homelessness can profoundly affect a person’s mental and physical health, their education and employment opportunities, and their ability to fully participate in society.

Brisbane City Council (Council) recognises that while the Queensland Government is primarily responsible for the provision of housing through the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027, Brisbane’s homelessness support sector faces significant financial challenges, particularly the sustainability of funding programs over multiple years, which is required to deliver effective pathways out of homelessness.

To respond to these challenges, the program will allocate $1 million per annum over three years
(2019-20 to 2021-22) as part of Council’s commitment to provide collaborative, integrated and sustained pathways out of homelessness. 


The program provides annual or multi-year funding for up to three years to Brisbane-based organisations to provide new and innovative solutions to create collaborative, integrated and sustainable pathways out of homelessness. The program will also fund enhancements to existing programs that support pathways out of homelessness.

Key areas of need include:

  • employment and certified training courses
  • delivery of integrated, off-street support services
  • mental health support
  • storage of rough sleeper belongings, including identification documents
  • support for vulnerable people to successfully sustain tenancies.

Eligible applications

Applicants must:

  • be a not-for-profit organisation, or be auspiced by a not-for-profit organisation that is registered or is eligible for registration under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth)
  • be a service provider delivering community services or be a social enterprise
  • have as one of its primary objectives, the purpose of reducing the experience of or risk of homelessness to individuals
  • be based or currently operate within the Brisbane local government area (LGA)
  • not have any overdue Council grant acquittals or outstanding debts with Council.

Only one application per organisation can be submitted per grant round.

If an auspice not-for-profit organisation is nominated, a letter from the auspice not-for-profit organisation must be provided, signed by the chairperson, president or chief executive officer (or equivalent) of the organisation, agreeing to auspice the proposal.

Ineligible applications

Applications will be deemed ineligible if identified as:

  • incomplete or submitted after the closing date and time
  • for political organisations
  • for an individual(s)
  • for for-profit organisations
  • for Queensland or Australian Government departments
  • for government educational institutions
  • for organisations that are based or currently operate outside of the Brisbane LGA
  • for applicants who have previously been successful in obtaining Council grants but have outstanding acquittals or debts.

The following will NOT be funded:

  • general operating expenses such as electricity, telephone, uniforms and rent that are part of the organisation’s ongoing expenses
  • primarily commercial or fundraising ventures
  • general public liability costs for the organisation (public liability costs that are specific to the project are eligible)
  • debt payments
  • sponsorship, prizes, award ceremonies, fundraisers or competitions
  • hospitality, i.e. food and alcohol costs for events
  • travel costs and allowances (except where directly for clients exiting homelessness)
  • services that duplicate other existing services
  • donations to individuals or organisations
  • retrospective funding, i.e. where the organisation has committed to expenditure prior to the notification date
  • proposals that do not meet the program objectives
  • activities or projects currently financially supported by Council
  • staff training except where directly related to other project activities that meet client needs
  • media and marketing activities
  • on-street activities (i.e. food, clothing, washing) that do not reduce the prevalence of homelessness
  • rent or accommodation costs for clients
  • capital costs associated with the construction or maintenance of social housing.

Funding available

Organisations may apply for up to a total of $450,000 over three years, or a minimum of $20,000 and maximum of $200,000 for one year. Applications for multi-year funding can only be made in the first year of the program (2019-20).

The program will support investment in responding to issues of homelessness by funding expenses attributable to:

  • project and activity delivery, including direct staff costs for the project
  • infrastructure or capital works (except those related to the construction or maintenance of social housing)
  • materials, services and programs that create sustainable pathways out of homelessness (including activities related to certified training and employment; self-care and living skills; social connections; activities that improve physical, emotional and mental health; services supporting management of tenancies and accommodation; equipment that helps sustain tenancies; and outreach services).

This is not an exhaustive list and applicants are encouraged to contact an officer from Safe Communities, Connected Communities, Lifestyle and Community Services, to discuss their application and eligibility.

Multi-year funding will be conditional on ongoing compliance with funding conditions and evidence of the delivery of agreed milestone outcomes, verified through an annual acquittal report.


If the applicant organisation or auspice organisation is GST registered, 10% GST will be added to the funding provided as an itemised GST gross-up.

If the applicant organisation or auspice organisation is not GST registered, 10% GST will be added to the funding provided, but will not be itemised as GST.

For advice  on GST, please contact your tax advisor or the Australian Taxation Office on 13 24 78 or via the Australian Taxation Office website.

Assessment process

Applications are encouraged from organisations that can demonstrate how the funding supports the delivery of new initiatives that deliver on the program objectives. Applications must articulate the activities that will be funded and how they will contribute to pathways out of homelessness.

Eligible applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

Application assessment critieria by criteria number, assessment criteria and percentage weighting.
Criteria # Assessment criteria Percentage weighting
1. Demonstrated community need and benefit from the proposed services and/or facility, aligned with the objectives of the program 30%
2.  Evidence of organisational experience and capacity to effectively deliver the project 20% 
3. Evidence of effective consultation, networking and partnerships in relation to the project 20%
4. Evidence of long-term financial sustainability beyond the funding period 20%
5. Identified measures of success for reducing homelessness 10%

Application process

Making an application

Before commencing your application please contact Council on (07) 3430 8888 to discuss your application with an officer from Safe Communities, Connected Communities, Lifestyle and Community Services.

A budget is required to support your application. Before you apply, it is highly recommended you review a budget table example to assist you with developing your budget.

When open, applications are submitted online via SmartyGrants. 

The online application system allows you to save, develop and print out your application before you submit it. Support material can also be attached to your online application.

Applications will only be accepted if submitted on the online application form and associated templates.

Once an applicant has submitted an application:

  • the applicant will receive an email confirming receipt of the application
  • the submitted application will be kept confidential and the contents will not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process
  • the list of successful applicants will be published on this website.

If you are successful in obtaining a grant, Council will send you a Funding Agreement that must be completed and returned prior to funding being provided.

Planning an application

Before commencing your application, review and consider the assessment criteria. Applications should include:

  • a compelling rationale, including evidence of need
  • a description of the proposed activities and proposed outcomes and benefits
  • a description of the organisation’s current capacity and operations (e.g. business structure, hours of operation)
  • evidence of planning and delivery mechanisms, including timelines and proposed personnel
  • a detailed budget accompanied by quotes or costings, previous expenses, any in-kind contributions or support, or other evidence
  • letters of confirmation from any external providers or partnering organisations named in the proposal
  • confirmation of commitment to the proposal from the board, executive or senior management of the applicant or auspice not-for-profit organisation.

Applications will be assessed as follows.

  • Council officers from relevant program areas assess eligibility against the program guidelines.
  • Council will not redress errors in applications. If an application is deemed ineligible, it will not be assessed.
  • Council officers will appraise the eligible applications against the assessment criteria to provide a list of recommended applications to Council’s Establishment and Coordination Committee for consideration.
  • Council’s Establishment and Coordination Committee makes the final decision regarding funding allocation.

The program is a competitive assessment process. Not every application that meets the assessment criteria will receive funding. In some instances, successful applicants may not receive the full amount of the funding requested. If your proposal cannot proceed without the funding requested, this should be indicated in your application.


Further information is available by contacting Council, to speak with an officer from Safe Communities, Connected Communities, Lifestyle and Community Services.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 133 677 and then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 and then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • internet relay users connect to the NRS ( and then ask for 07 3403 8888.

If you require this information in other languages, please phone the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask to be connected to Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888.

All enquiry services are free.

Refer to the SmartyGrants help guide for technical assistance when submitting an application. The SmartyGrants support desk is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday AEDT, on (03) 9320 6888 or by email to

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants must abide by Council's terms and conditions of the grant, which will be set out as part of your Funding Agreement.

Only Council has authority to approve funding. Approval of funding does not imply that Council has given any other consent.


This Glossary contains a number of terms and phrases applicants may need to be familiar with when planning an application.

The acquittal report is a report that accurately reports on the funded activities and the expenditure of Council’s funding and includes details on how the funding was spent, the activities undertaken, the outcomes of the funded activities, an evaluation of the activities, participation by role and numbers and any target groups within the community. The report includes certified financial statements. Council will provide a template for the organisation to complete.

An auspice not-for-profit organisation is a not-for-profit organisation that is registered or is eligible for registration under the Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) that has as one of its primary objectives the purpose of responding to homelessness and that will provide support and guidance to the applicant in carrying out the funded activities under the auspices of its organisation.

Capital works are works undertaken to create a new asset or space, or to change the use, function or layout of an existing asset or space.

Community benefit describes tangible and intangible benefits and opportunities to members of the public accessing or participating in a funded project activity and can include cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Eligible means that the applicant or project satisfies the conditions for funding.

Governance is the way an organisation works to inform, direct, manage and monitor the activities of the organisation toward the achievement of its objectives. This includes the organisation’s structure and processes.

GST stands for goods and services tax payable pursuant to the GST Laws. If an applicant or auspice not-for-profit organisation is GST registered, 10% GST will be added to the funding as an itemised GST gross-up. If an applicant or auspice not-for-profit organisation is not GST registered, the 10% GST will be added to the funding, but not itemised as GST.

GST Laws mean the GST law (as defined by A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth)) together with all other laws and regulations which impose or regulate the implementation and operation of the GST.

In-kind contribution or in-kind support is the dollar value of non-cash contributions to a project that would otherwise have needed to be paid for. It includes, but is not limited to, volunteer labour, administrative support, rent-free office space, accommodation or donations of materials or equipment. These contributions should be given a dollar value and must be included in the proposed budget.

Letter of support is a letter of endorsement or commitment to the proposal from partners, other organisations and/or elected members.

Not-for-profit organisation is a not-for-profit organisation that is either registered or is eligible for registration under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) and that has as one of its primary objectives, the purpose of responding to homelessness.

A social enterprise must have evidence of a Social Traders certification or Queensland Social Enterprise Council membership. Alternatively, it must have an independently verified organisational assessment demonstrating that the enterprise is a business model which provides employment and training for marginalised groups, provides products and services in direct response to a community or environmental need (something not met by the market), or invests a significant proportion of profits for social impact.    

Last updated:10 December 2019