After years of planning, collaboration and community participation the Toowoomba Housing Hub was launched in 2018.  The Hub’s vision is working together to end homelessness in Toowoomba. The mission of the Hub is to reduce homelessness in Toowoomba by 50%  by 2022 by being connected, compassionate and courageous.

Both the vision and the mission reinforce that the Hub is a collaboration of government and non-government organisations to maximise the impact of the community’s response to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Those who engage with the Hub are supported by a team that collaboratively assess, refer and link those needing help to the most suitable services and supports available to meet their needs.

Lifeline Darling Downs has been involved in the Hub development from the earliest community consultation meetings and we continue to play our part as the Community Connections Partner (CCP).

As the CCP,  we coordinate the service delivery at the Hub and, to support the partnership and information sharing activities between the contributing organisations.

As the COVID-19 health crisis evolved, it quickly became apparent that supporting public health initiatives such as social distancing would need to be balanced with supporting vulnerable individuals who often present without essentials such as phones and who can lack knowledge about what services might be available to them.

As most of the partner organisations commenced working from home or tele-servicing their clients, the Lifeline Darling Downs CCP team assumed most of the responsibility for staffing the Hub.

On 18 March 2020, the CCP team made the difficult decision to close the doors of the Hub but to remain on-site to support those presenting in person and to assist partner organisations with the distribution of practical support such as Essentials Cards and swags. 

The key work of the Hub since the introduction of social isolation measures has been to support the Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works implement measures to support people experiencing homelessness during the crisis.

These have included providing temporary housing for people so they may shelter in place safely. The Hub collaboration has been working hard to identify housing for those most vulnerable and some of this housing has been provided by local hotels and motels who have experienced a downturn as a result of COVID-19.  

In April the Hub responded to 115 enquiries for advice and information.  In addition, staff undertook 102 assessments for individuals and families presenting at the Hub for support.  COVID-19 assessments represented 17 of these presentations and resulted in health accommodation responses. 

The Hub is a fantastic example of partnering at its best.  By working together during this difficult time,  government-funded housing and homelessness services, unfunded community organisations and the Queensland Government Housing Service Centre have ensured people have access to the support required for them to shelter in safety and work towards permanent housing.

The Toowoomba Housing Hub and the Community Connection Partner are funded by the Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works.

If you or someone you know requires housing support please contact the Toowoomba Housing Hub on 0746994440 or visit us at 10 Russell Street, Toowoomba.

If you are currently experiencing crisis please reach out to our 24/7 helpline on 13 11 14.

A very special thanks to the key partners of the Toowoomba Housing Hub who have contributed so much over the years to make this project a reality and who are helping to change the story for many people experiencing homelessness in south west Queensland.

YellowBridge Qld

Salvation Army

Red Cross Australia

St Vincent De Paul Society Qld

Mission Australia

Toowoomba and South-West Housing Service Centre.