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State Government Support for Barrier Breakers Project

The development of specially designed units of supportive accommodation in Traralgon for people with a mental illness moved a step closer this week with a public announcement of the state government’s decision to fund a vital component of the project.

Mental Health Minister, Mary Wooldridge announced the government will fund MIND, a partner of Barrier Breakers in the project, $348,000 over the next four years to provide outreach support to the proposed tenants of the units.

“It will be an important service for people who are referred from Latrobe Regional Hospital.”

In a letter to Barrier Breakers, Ms Wooldridge acknowledged the active role played by the organisation in advocating for the provision of supported accommodation for people with a mental illness.

She said she appreciated the time and effort Barrier Breakers had taken to advocate on behalf of people with a mental illness.

Barrier Breakers has partnered Eastcoast Housing Association (Eastcoast), MIND Australia (MIND) and Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Services (LRH) to source funding for the project and to ensure the provision of clinical and outreach services for the tenants.

Derek Amos, CEO of Barrier Breakers said that Eastcoast had committed $600,00 to the capital cost of building the six units that are proposed and that it expected to raise a further $150,000 for the project through its public appeal.

Mr. Amos said LRH had relinquished the lease on crown land that it held in Traralgon to allow Eastcoast to lease the site for the project. He also said that subject to this lease being granted, the Department of Housing had committed a further $450,000 towards the capital cost of the project.

“Thanks to a very generous public response to our appeal, we are well on track to raise the $150,000 contribution we are committed to.”

“Our charity dinner last year raised in excess of $30,000 and other events in the past year had almost matched that effort.”

This Friday we are hosting the second of our charity dinners and we hope to better last year’s effort”.

Mr. Amos said while the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, everyone involved in the project was hopeful the other arms of government would expedite the process of the lease application to enable a speedy commencement of the project.

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