A brush with kindness for homeless service

More than a fresh coat of paint, Habitat for Humanity Australia is transforming lives in the Hunter region, offering vulnerable individuals clean, dignified living spaces.

A dedicated group of volunteers have embarked on a mission to create new beginnings for 400 families across the Hunter and Central Coast regions. The families will benefit from rejuvenated crisis and transitional accommodation, as an upgrades program commences in Newcastle.

Thanks to funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Australia’s Brush with Kindness project is a transformative program providing accommodations for vulnerable individuals. Their programme helps survivors of domestic violence as well as those facing housing stress. With the support of 150 dedicated volunteers, all wearing their signature blue -t-shirts, the project will revitalise 20 units across the region, making a significant impact on the lives of those in need.

With the assistance of volunteers from Newcastle Permanent and Newcastle Business Club, a $120,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has seen the first housing makeover undertaken at the Matthew Talbot Homeless Service in Wickham.

After implementing repairs and giving a new layer of paint to one of the charity’s transitional apartments, Habitat for Humanity Australia CEO Nicole Stanmore emphasises the significance of this project. She emphasises that it goes beyond just a fresh coat of paint.

“The program provides vulnerable people of the Hunter and Central Coast with clean, inviting and dignified accommodation, by working with providers who don’t always have the funding or resources to undertake this work themselves,” Ms Stanmore said.

Matthew Talbot Homeless Service Manager Glenn Beatty said helping vulnerable people feel comfortable and valued made a world of difference to their wellbeing.

“Our clients are with us because they are going through a rough time, and as
well as homelessness they could also be experiencing job loss, health issues or relationship breakdowns,” Mr Beatty said.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair Ross Griffiths said that the social impact of the Brush with Kindness program was immeasurable.

“You can’t assign a value to people’s self-esteem, so we know that a $120,000 investment from us is actually worth so much more,” Mr Griffiths said.

“This is the first time we’re seeing Brush with Kindness in Newcastle and the Central Coast, so we’re thrilled to be a part of the rollout.”

For more information, head to helpinghands.online/corporates and habitat.org.au/workplacegiving

Read the full story in our Autumn Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.