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Somewhere to call home
Hanging in the Trinity Hill residents’ meeting room is an eye-catching painting of a young lad peering through binoculars.
‘Binocular Boy is looking forward into a bright and colourful future, full of rich and vibrant opportunity. The colours reflected in the binoculars are also captured in the décor of this room, it is a bright and happy space,’ says Raf Patterson, Senior Worker at Trinity Hill. (See photo.)
The unofficial motto of Trinity Hill is ‘clean and quiet’, and Binocular Boy is a picture of hope that is the essence of Trinity Hill.
At Trinity Hill there are 46 self-contained bedsit units for young men and women aged 16 to 25 who are on a low income and have been or are at risk of homelessness. Sixteen of these units are for young people on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Residents at Trinity Hill live independently and they share social spaces, bbq areas, training rooms, a gym and laundry.
‘We have had a successful staged entry of residents moving in with 40 units now occupied. A sense of community is developing and we are seeing lives transformed as a result of these young people having somewhere to call home,’ said Raf.
The official opening of Trinity Hill was timed in conjunction with the launch of National Homeless Persons Week. This year’s theme is ‘Everyone Counts’ and Trinity Hill is a living example of that statement in action.
The Rental Affordability Snapshot, which was undertaken in April, found no Tasmanian properties were affordable for young people on Youth Allowance, only 1 percent were affordable for singles on Newstart and 4 percent for single people over 21 receiving the Disability Support Pension.
Trinity Hill is managed by Anglicare and Community Housing Limited, with training by Mission Australia.
Trinity Hill offers safe, affordable long-term housing with on-site support to access education, training, employment and other opportunities young people might be interested in pursuing.
‘We received a donation of wonderful books so have started a library in the common room. We don’t mind if the books are never returned, if they have enriched someone’s life then they have served their purpose,’ said Raf. ‘If anyone has any books or DVDs that would be suitable for young people aged 16–25 that they’d like to donate we would be very grateful.’ (*Note delivery address under Ideas for action on next page.)
In July the residents were given a Resident Feedback Survey. Bek Gale, the Youth Support Worker at Trinity Hill, said ‘The responses had a common theme of: Safe place; Own space; Security and Support.’
‘Having a place to call home’, ‘Get to be myself and know I’m safe’, and ‘the best thing about Trinity Hill is that it gives me the chance to focus on my future and ambitions and gives me the solid foundations to succeed. When you have stability and security you achieve more, it’s a common fact’, are some of the responses received.
‘The young people here are all making progress, they want to succeed. Going to school is much easier when you know where you are sleeping at night,’ said Bek. ‘Previously these young people have not been able to think about much other than shelter, but now they are engaging in education and training.’
‘Recently one young man told me how he had managed to get a driver’s licence because he had an address, and how that had enabled him to get a job,’ said Raf. ‘Another young man told me that he is going to save for a house deposit while he is living here. How exciting is that!’
Support is provided in many different forms at Trinity Hill. Bek and Raf’s doors are always open. They are mentors, providing positive encouragement when needed, there to answer questions or provide support if requested, and provide homework support where necessary.
As part of the Trinity Hill development, a large wall – 6 metres by 8 metres – was built to showcase an eye-catching mural.
‘It’s all about creating environments that are engaging and inspiring for the community,’ said T3D’s Jerome Dobinson. ‘A piece of art can contribute to a stronger community – and people develop a sense of ownership of that space.’
T3D worked with Trinity Hill residents to develop the graphics that appear in the foreground in laser cut steel. To create cohesion, the typography which features the word HOME is based on the colour scheme in the surrounding architecture.
‘The word has been typeset in a way that it can also be read as LOVE,’ said Jerome. (See photo.)
Trinity Hill was awarded the Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing Award at the Tasmanian Architecture Awards in June, which is testament to this exciting and innovative inner city development.