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Merger may ease shelter crisis

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au

CRISIS accommodation for men in Gladstone may move a step closer towards realisation today following a proposal to merge two related service organisations.

A special meeting to formalise the merger of the Gladstone Men's Shelter with Roseberry Youth Services has been convened for today.

President of Roseberry Youth Services Ian Earnshaw said the merger would strengthen both organisations.

"What will happen is that Roseberry Youth Services will change its name to Roseberry Community Services,'' Mr Earnshaw said.

"This will allow us to broaden our reach in the community and service not only the needs of our youth but also the emergency needs of our adult community.''

Mr Earnshaw said Roseberry had several units that were vacant at the moment that could be used for crisis accommodation.

"We would like to grow a range of accommodation options that could service not only the needs of our youth who may need emergency accommodation but also our adult population.

"At the moment we are unsure what the exact needs are for emergency accommodation for young adults.

"However we have sent a request to the minister that we be allowed to change the use of some of our accommodation units so they can be used for emergency accommodation for men.''

Mr Earnshaw said there would be a special general meeting this afternoon to vote on the new constitution and then the men's shelter sub committee would meet immediately afterwards.

"We will also be meeting with Comalco this week to bring them up to date with the changes,'' Mr Earnshaw said.

In 2004 the Gladstone Men's Shelter successfully applied to the Comalco Community Fund for funding to address the lack of crisis accommodation available to men in Gladstone.

The Fund allocated $100,000 to be spent on apprentice wages to construct the shelter.

Sub committee member for the Gladstone Men's Shelter Judy Whicker said the police were keen to see such a facility so that in the case of domestic violence, they can remove the man from the home without disrupting the women and children.



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