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Community Hubs

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Community Hubs

Compass delivers many services in addition to their housing function to support tenants in maintaining their tenancies, to create sustainable housing communities and enable residents to access wider services provided by partner agencies. One way we achieve this is by the creation of community hubs which offer tenants and their communities a place to meet, socialise and volunteer.

The hubs host several tenant and community events including free lunches, cheap groceries, holiday commemorations, school holiday programs, community garden activities and sporting programs.

Importantly, the hubs also provide a welcoming base for local support agencies to offer outreach services to tenants and their communities. These services include, but are not limited to, education, training and employment programs, job readiness workshops, financial literacy and counselling, mental health programs, legal advice and healthy cooking workshops.

Community hubs make an important contribution to the sense of community experienced by tenants and contribute directly to our community development vision.

The Meeting Place Community Hub

The Meeting Place is a central hub providing NSW Central Coast residents with access to a range of beneficial outreach services, activities, support and a real sense of community.
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Compass manages a local hub 'The Meeting Place' on the NSW Central Coast. This is a facility that provides a central place within the community where local residents can access a range of outreach services and participate in activities that build individual skills and strengthen the capacity of community members, providing support to not only Compass tenants but also to the whole community.

There are a number of local service providers who are participating in community building and partnering to provide activities and programs for the community.

Various initiatives have been implemented at The Meeting Place to promote tenant and community engagement including a community garden, school holiday activities, sports in the neighbourhood, tenant groups, market days, morning teas, community events, free access to computers and community noticeboards. The Meeting Place also provides training courses to Compass tenants and the community in its modern training room.

Morning tea is held every Thursday and Friday free of charge with all of the local community welcome, sewing lessons are also held on Monday mornings, staff have sourced a local supplier to supply heavily discounted fruit and vegetable boxes that may be pre ordered and delivered fortnightly to the meeting place. This is an opportunity for our tenants as well as the local community to access fresh fruit and vegetables at a reasonable cost. The initiatives of the staff at The Meeting Place have been further developed and have resulted in the opening of the Shack Shop.

The types of courses on offer include, First Aid Training, Certificate II in Food Handling and various practical diploma courses, such as the Diploma of Community Services and the Diploma of Child, Family and Youth Intervention. The key to the success of The Meeting Place is the warm, open and inclusive environment created by our capable staff and the valuable contribution from our tenant volunteers. Compass tenants and members of the community see the facility as a home away from home, a place to have their voice heard and know that they are welcome to drop by at any time.

123 Community Hub @ Broken Hill

The 123 Community Hub is a community meeting place for residents of Broken Hill, providing a range of beneficial services and activities that will strengthen the local community.
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The 123 Community Hub was born after Compass staff in the remote New South Wales town of Broken Hill identified the neighbourhood around Creedon Street as a suitable location for a community hub due to its distance from facilities, and relatively high concentration of social housing.

The subsequent $100,000 conversion of a vacant Housing NSW property into the 123 Community Hub was funded entirely by Compass, as are the ongoing operations.

The hub was designed to reduce antisocial behaviour by offering positive lifestyle activities for local residents as well as serving as a central point for support agencies to provide outreach services. The benefits of the hub were felt immediately, with crime rates in the surrounding area plummeting and police call outs to the area declining sharply.  

In addition to the reduction in crime, Compass staff members from Broken Hill also noted an increase in engagement with tenants. A large part of the successes of the 123 Community Hub stems from Compass’ understanding of the community in Broken Hill. To ensure regular meetings are held by the Local Advisory Work Group, which includes tenant representatives and representatives from the local indigenous community.

Activities on offer at the 123 Community Hub include cooking lessons, quit smoking programs, Strive to Drive programs, art programs, after school activities, health screening, financial and budgeting help, womens’ groups, deadly dads programs and legal and consumer advice.

The success of the 123 Community Hub has been recognised within the community housing sector with the facility picking up an Australian Business Award for Community Contribution, as well as an Outstanding Achievement award from PowerHousing Australia.

The Shack Shop

The Shack Shop at The Meeting Place is a Compass initiative aimed at relieving some of the financial pressures of day to day living by providing affordable groceries to tenants in the region.
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The Shack Shop at The Meeting Place is a Compass initiative aimed at relieving some of the financial pressures of day to day living by providing affordable groceries to tenants in the region.

The Shack Shop was an initiative of our Central Coast staff. They thought if we are able to give our tenants access to affordable groceries and fruit and vegetables, it would relieve some of the burden on living costs and help free up money for other living expenses such as rent and utilities.

The hub offers the Foodbank and Secondbite programs through which tenants can access free bakery items and vegetables every weekday and best-before dated staple foods and frozen goods on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The Shack Shop was not only implemented to help people with affordable groceries it was also designed to help tenants and the community become engaged in activities and be a source of information to those in need. Every Tuesday the hub hosts a Coffee Club and on Wednesdays, a free community lunch is provided.

Our Tenancy Relations Officers from the Central Coast attend these lunches to have a chat to tenants and the general community around issues they may be experiencing. They also offer referrals to services where needs have been identified. The Shack Shop has one full time staff member and a team of volunteers. The volunteers are a mix of the local community and our tenants. Tenants are encouraged to come down and volunteer.

The Shack Shop also offers work development so people who are struggling to pay a fine may come and work at the Shack Shop to pay off that fine. Staff and volunteers have also started a small community garden.

Giant Mural Project

In 2013 Compass Connect funded an exciting community art project that provided an opportunity for community members of all ages to collaborate on the vibrant giant Mural that was unveiled at The Meeting Place.
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The project was slated as a community art project delivering a mural developed by community members under the supervision of a community artist. It was completed over an eight-week period incorporating an opportunity for intergenerational development within the Killarney Vale, Bateau Bay and Tumbi Umbi communities. Once the artwork was completed, it was installed on the side of The Meeting Place building for everyone to see.

The project created an opportunity to bring together those within the community of all ages to participate in creating art based on their input and direction and of what they visualised to be the strengths within their community.

The connections created through the art project broke down some intergenerational misconceptions and provided a means of expression for those wishing to make a positive change in the community.

The art project is seen as a major success as there have been very few projects facilitated in the local area that provide the youth and mature age members of the community an opportunity to collaborate.

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