Our Backyard Project

21st June 2022

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie)—I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of the dedicated team of volunteers behind the Our Backyard Project in Cardiff. Homelessness is a huge problem in Lake Macquarie, and one that the Our Backyard Project works to address by providing both immediate and long-term solutions for people experiencing this hardship. For the past eight years, the volunteer-run organisation has operated out of Macquarie Life Church's carpark, providing people who sleep in cars, often with pets, with a safe place to spend the night. They also provide people experiencing homelessness with an on-site communal kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities and the opportunity to connect with caseworkers, mental-health providers and access to financial counselling services. To date, Our Backyard has supported more than 200 community members, 43 pets and 28 children. Volunteers were on site throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns, putting their own health at risk to ensure others had a safe space to sleep. Recently the team began working with real estate agents and landlords to help their clients move into permanent homes, and access rental subsidies. I acknowledge and thank everyone at the Our Backyard Project for their contribution to the community.

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