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Seven off the street but another half dozen apply each day

Dave Fleming, Emmett O’Brien (president) and Tim Phelps (treasurer) of the Brisbane chapter of the American Motorcycle Club and The Good Guys Morayfield team leader Alex Gillespie with the keys to the new houses.
Dave Fleming, Emmett O’Brien (president) and Tim Phelps (treasurer) of the Brisbane chapter of the American Motorcycle Club and The Good Guys Morayfield team leader Alex Gillespie with the keys to the new houses. Jorge Branco

SEVEN more people have a reliable roof over their heads thanks to a mammoth community fundraising effort.

Caboolture support organisation The Haven bought a two-house property in Morayfield earlier this month, with space for two families or up to seven single people.

The new houses bring the organisation's total number of temporary housing buildings to 17.

"On any given night we could be accommodating up to 50, 60 people," The Haven manager Gail Torrens said.

"It's up to them (how long they stay) until they get on their feet.

"Actually some people we've had there for a long time in the singles because it's more difficult for them. It all depends on their circumstances."

Miss Torrens said the new accommodation would help but there was still plenty more needed.

"The Haven is just fulfilling a gap in our community that the government hasn't addressed," she said.

"We would get probably half a dozen requests every day, at least, from all walks of life... and from all areas."

The Haven raised the money for the deposit on the house through a car raffle late last year.

But Miss Torrens said it was the individuals and organisations that helped get the money together who deserved the recognition.

The new accommodation will be called Shieldsy's Place, in honour of the Shield family, who donated Graeme Shield's 1968 GTS Monaro (worth $55,000) after he passed away last year.

The Brisbane Chapter of the American Motorcycle Club sold $20,000 worth of tickets for the raffle and The Good Guys Morayfield donated $12,286 towards white goods for the new houses.

BAMC president Emmett O'Brien said it was a great feeling to see people moving into the new houses.

"It makes our efforts worthwhile and obviously we're doing it for The Haven because they're doing it for the people," he said.

"Our members are all very enthusiastic and want to be involved because we're getting results like that."

Good Guys Morayfield owner Dale Roche said he and his team looked to invest in the local community in any way they could.

"Thanks to the support of our customers, together we make a tangible difference," he said.

On Saturday, the shop is celebrating reaching $6 million in community donations across the country since 2006 through the Local Giving Program.

Phone The Haven on 5495 5758 or visit http://www.familyhaven.org.au for more details.

Topics:  homeless homelessness


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