The Queensland Government has announced that it will establish a new response team to help people experiencing homelessness, as part of its new long term housing plan. 

The plan – Homes for Queenslanders – also includes a 20 per cent uplift in funding for homelessness services.

The Critical Response Team will regularly visit known areas where people are experiencing homelessness in Central Queensland and offer rapid support to help them find accommodation.

It’s modelled off the successful Brisbane Critical Response Team, which in less than one year has helped more than 460 people find alternative accommodation like social housing, private rentals and boarding houses.

Brisbane’s Critical Response Team worked with key stakeholders, including council, police, the Homeless Health Outreach Team, Micah Projects and Brisbane Youth Service.

The Central Queensland team will include dedicated housing and homelessness services staff and work in conjunction with government and non-government organisations to engage with people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness about their housing needs and identify alternative accommodation.

Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said that having a dedicated team on the ground helping people sleeping rough will make a huge difference.

“It removes the barrier that a lot of people face when they become homeless – often through no fault of their own – like not knowing where to start when it comes to getting help and what support they might need,” Mr O’Rourke said. 

Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said that she looked forward to seeing the team out in the community.

“In my community we’ve just completed new social homes in Taranganba as part of our social housing Big Build, but it’s important we also have support services on the ground,” Ms Lauga said. 

Queensland Minister for Housing, Meaghan Scanlon, said that for those who have fallen through the cracks, the government is giving its hard working homeless organisations more funding, but also rolling out rapid response teams to help people with accommodation, and eventually a permanent place to call home.

“I’ve seen firsthand how this team has made a difference for people sleeping rough in the Brisbane CBD and I know that expanding these teams to regional areas of Queensland will have a big impact,” Ms Scanlon said. 

“As well as establishing Critical Response Teams across the state, hundreds more emergency accommodation places will be made available and we’ll employ more frontline staff in our Housing Service Centres to support Queenslanders who need housing assistance.’’

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