Community Hubs

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 a Community Hub which offers residents a place to meet, socialise and volunteer.

Additionally, it offers a location for external agencies to meet with our tenants and provide services which meet their needs. Community hubs make an important contribution to the sense of community experienced by residents and contribute directly to our community development vision.

The Meeting Place @ Tumbi Umbi

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.

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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On Wednesday the 26th of June 2013, a wonderfully large and colourfully inspiring mural was unveiled at The Meeting Place. The mural is another fantastic project that has resulted from funding under the Compass Connect program.

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 (KBT) communities. Once the artwork was completed, it was installed on the side of The Meeting Place building for all community members 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. Thus building on a positive framework and opportunity to create positive community connections and mentors throughout the project and thereafter.

By developing and supporting these connections through the art project we were able to build on the positive impact of those who desired to make a positive change in the community. This also created an opportunity for mature aged community members to break down some of the misconceptions of the youth in the area.

The project aimed at creating an intergenerational art project for those within the KBT community. This was 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.

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 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 this will help relieve some of the burden on living costs and help free up money for other living expenses such as rent and utilities.

Foodbank and Mars Foods have signed on to supply the groceries. Currently they are only able to supply non-perishable items as the Shack Shop does not have a fridge or freezer but they are hoping in the near future to acquire these items and expand the range of groceries we are able to stock.

The Shack Shop was not only implemented to help people with affordable groceries it was also to help tenants and the community become engaged in activities and be a source of information to those in need. On Mondays a mediation class is run from the shop, it is open to everyone for a gold coin donation. Staff have also connected with local services who are able to contribute, including a local college and financial counselling amongst others. 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 idintified. 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, they are provided with flyers at their rental inspection and the TRO informs them of the benefits.

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. At the moment this contains tomatoes and a few different herbs but they plan to expand this in the near future.

123 Community Hub @ Broken Hill

The 123 Community Hub is a new 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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Opened in September 2015, the 123 Community Hub is continuing to provide a range of beneficial services and activities to strengthen the Broken Hill community.

Compass provided $100,000 towards the project which aimed to see a range of services and activities provided at the 123 Creedon Street site. The services offered so far include an educational afternoon club for kids, cooking classes, as well as health programs such as quit smoking classes and community art programs. A community vegetable garden, bike repairing sessions, a toy library and counselling services are also planned for the future.

Local company Carthew Builders won the tender for the work and are completing upgrades to the kitchen, building an activities deck, installing air conditioning and providing disability access.

Compass Housing staff will be present at the site during weekdays and hope to seek out grant funding to extend the project.

 

Background

In 2014, Compass Broken Hill received approval from Housing NSW for the allowance of a property that had been vacant for almost a year to be utilised as a community centre.

Staff recognised that an area of housing Compass managed in Broken Hill required a place with a community focus to tackle long standing anti-social behaviours, and a place to have positive experiences within the community.

Compass collaborated with stakeholders through workshops to determine their interest for such a project and to develop priorities. In addition to workshops Compass hosted a barbeque for the residents of the street and surrounding area to attend and share their ideas of what they would like to see happen at the hub. Attendees were invited to write their ideas on a wall of the building.

Their ideas provided the framework for the Hub and included things like a homework club, cooking classes, veggie gardens, health checks, a new mothers group and sewing lessons.