Campout for homeless

Lockyer Valley community organisation Our Heartland is hosting a ‘Hearts for Homes’ campout on Tuesday, 14 May. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A community organisation in the Lockyer Valley is hosting a campout outside the Gatton Council Chambers to raise awareness about homelessness.

Our Heartland director Maree Rosier is inviting the community to join her on Tuesday, 14 May from 5pm to 9am with a swag or ten and their woollies for the ‘Hearts for Homes’ campout.

“We’re an affluent community, and to me it seems unconscionable that we have young families in tents that are being moved on,” Ms Roser said.

“It becomes a very difficult life and everything else tends to spiral downwards.

“Whereas, if we can help in the first instance, that can be avoided.”

Ms Rosier said her frustration has built over the years while six two-bedroom units behind the Senior Citizens Centre in Gatton have sat vacant.

She said she decided to ‘take on’ Lockyer Valley Regional Council over the matter.

“The reasons from council range, in the beginning they told me the doors were ‘too narrow’, and more towards the end they said they needed fire-rating walls,” Ms Rosier said.

“There’s a very similar set of units up on Cochran Street and it seems to be the same dimensions and so-on, and yet it’s inhabited.

“I’m confused by why the other units can’t be used and council’s reluctance to manage them.

“They seem to be dead-set keen on handing them over to somebody else.”

Ms Rosier proposed the State Government should acquire the units, without asking for infrastructure to be removed, and then lease them for a nominal amount to Our Heartland as a community group so they can manage the rental to homeless people.

“We do have people sleeping rough in our community and there are resources available, ready to go, that could be utilised to help the problem,” she said.