Mayoral Roundtable on Homelessness, 2019

Sunshine Coast Council

What was this project about?

The Sunshine Coast region is facing a rising level of people experiencing homelessness. Acknowledging the Federal and State Government has the primary role of responding to homelessness, Sunshine Coast Council also acknowledges that homelessness is a social issue that affects people and communities worldwide and requires a whole of community response to address.

A number of discussions were held on housing and homelessness on the Sunshine Coast bringing together key stakeholders to understand the main concerns and issues around housing and homelessness on the Sunshine Coast and to better comprehend the needs for the region for the purposes of planning and advocacy.

In October 2019 Council hosted a roundtable discussion chaired by the Sunshine Coast Council Mayor to advance those discussions and develop a responsive plan with key actions to establish a clear and committed direction to homelessness moving forward.

What we needed to do

Engagement Plus was engaged to facilitate the roundtable which was attended by a cross section of stakeholders from across the community with influence and responsibility in the areas of housing and homelessness, and in particular for the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.  These stakeholders included councillors; state agencies for housing, child safety, youth and women and health; funded homelessness services; community housing providers; Q-Shelter (peak body) and the business community.

The intention for the roundtable was for it to be highly conversational with all attendees being invited to share information about current context, priority projects in progress and to contribute to key actions to address homelessness on the Sunshine Coast.

It was highlighted that there is a growing number of people experiencing homelessness amongst single men, young people and women aged over 55 years.

Following presentations the roundtable featured facilitated conversations about the current initiatives that are being pursued, some of the barriers to effective short and long term responses, and some ideas on what actions could be initiated to address crisis accommodation needs while working on longer term housing solutions.

What was achieved

Discussions from the round table informed how council can continue to advocate for what is needed locally to support people experiencing homelessness in their community, with the commitment to progress work on the key actions identified and to identify future collaboration opportunities.