Housing and homelessness
The 2011 Census reported 4324 people homeless in Brisbane. This figure is based on a broad definition of the term ‘homeless’ and includes rough sleepers, people who are couch surfing and people living in cars, crisis accommodation and boarding houses.
Brisbane City Council is addressing homelessness through a number of services and projects.
Homeless Connect brings together businesses, community groups and government organisations to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ of free services for people experiencing homelessness. Support includes:
- housing referrals
- medical support
- legal advice
- food, toiletries and clothing.
Public Space Liaison Officers
Council’s Public Space Liaison Officers (PSLOs) act as the first point of contact between Council and people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness by engaging with these residents and linking them with support services. PSLOs work with outreach and non-government organisations that support homeless people in Brisbane. Several agencies work with ‘rough sleepers’, including Micah Projects Incorporated, Footprints, HART 4000, Brisbane Youth Service, Homeless Health Outreach Team, 139 Club and the Brisbane Homelessness Service Centre.
PSLOs also provide people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness with an Essential Contacts Guide (ECG) that lists useful contact numbers for vital services in Brisbane including food and welfare, children and youth, legal issues, health and more.
Essential Contacts Guide
The Essential Contacts Guide (ECG) is a pocket-sized guide that provides contact details for emergency support. The ECG is distributed to community organisations, service providers and QPS officers who provide assistance to homeless people and people requiring emergency support across Brisbane.
Red Cross Night Cafe
Council supports the Red Cross Night Cafe, which was opened by the Australian Red Cross in Brisbane City Hall in 2001. The cafe provides Brisbane's homeless and disadvantaged young people with free meals and access to showers, toilets, health and legal advice two nights per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). The cafe also runs workshops and arts-based activities.
The cafe is located on the basement level of Brisbane City Hall, with access via the exterior door on the Adelaide Street side of the building.
The Community Housing Partnership Project provides crisis and transitional accommodation to people experiencing homelessness in Brisbane and those at risk of homelessness.
The Brisbane Housing Company (BHC)
The BHC is a not-for-profit organisation established by Council with the Queensland Government. It provides affordable rental accommodation for people on low incomes.
The BHC has over 600 units in Brisbane, with more in development.