Mission Australia encourages Coffs community to have their say on Mission Australia Centre
Across three days from Tuesday 23 February to Thursday 25 February, Mission Australia hosted a series of COVID-Safe open days and workshops so local stakeholders can have a say on the charity’s Mission Australia Centre on Duke Street in Coffs Harbour’s CBD, which will be built by December this year.
Attendees have heard from Mission Australia teams and have had the opportunity to provide vital feedback on the development of the purpose-built community hub.
Mission Australia Executive of Community Services, Ben Carblis said the charity has prioritised engaging local voices and community input to help ensure the new centre is a safe, welcoming place where people and families can easily access a range of programs and services in one convenient location.
We’re really pleased that so many local individuals, community services organisations and businesses put their hand up to join in the conversation.
“As part of this project, Mission Australia is prioritising tapping into a range of key local voices and opinions. We created this forum so that people and organisations can provide their ideas, contributions and feedback on the Mission Australia Centre.
“Our Mission Australia Centre will be developed in collaboration with community stakeholders including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, clients and local organisations. Once open, its impact will be continuously evaluated using Mission Australia’s impact measurement framework.
“We’re partnering with local organisations and welcome community input every step of the way, so we can ensure the services provided through the centre are properly tailored to meet the most pressing needs of vulnerable locals.
Together with local stakeholders, we will create an inclusive environment with heart that fosters opportunities for social connection with the wider community. It will be a vibrant space where local service providers, individuals and organisations can come together and collaborate for the benefit of our community. We’re looking forward to opening the doors later this year.
Construction of the Mission Australia Centre has been made possible by donations from Mission Australia supporters who have so far raised $2.1 million for the project. Over the coming months, the charity will engage in fundraising activities to raise the additional $3 million needed to complete the build.
Local construction company, Lipman, commenced building the Mission Australia Centre in early 2021, which will be built at the same time as the charity’s neighbouring 40 one-bedroom social home apartments.
The projects are designed to meet local needs, with the latest 2016 Census data showing Coffs Harbour has seen a 15% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness since the previous Census – a rate higher than the national average. Cowper, which takes in Coffs Harbour, is the 10th top electorate in Australia for rental stress with 7,698 households in Cowper experiencing rental stress.
Coffs Harbour will be home to Mission Australia’s newest Mission Australia Centre. Mission Australia Centres are community hubs owned by Mission Australia that provide local individuals and communities with access to a variety of support services housed within a single location. The range of supports and activities offered is determined by the specific needs of the local people and community and include housing and homelessness services, health and wellbeing support and social inclusion activities.
Mr Carblis continued, “Both Mission Australia projects in Coffs Harbour are part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that people on the Mid North Coast have access to the services they need, and a safe and secure place to call home.”
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