Canberra is seen as a modern, well educated community with a thriving economy.This might be the case for many Canberrans but it is not the case for some.
Our Chair Stephen Bartos notes because of its harsh winters, homelessness may be less visible in the national capital, but it exists and is a real and growing problem. Many not-for-profit agencies that deal with homeless people in the Australian Capital Territory have reported a marked increase in the number of people either homeless or with highly unsatisfactory temporary housing in recent months. There is no facility like Common Ground in Canberra, and a clear need for one.
The Common Ground approach is a partnership between community groups, the private sector and the government, to offer a supported and inclusive community for homeless individuals and families, as well as low-income earners. The program works well with a mix of around 50 percent income-earning households, Common Ground aims to create a community with good role models for all residents, rather than a concentrated pocket of disadvantage.