Homeless people living in the city could be offered free cinema and swimming pool tickets if an amendment to Adelaide City Council’s community grants program is passed next week.
Area councillor Robert Simms will propose a change to the council’s Community Development Grants Program to prioritise funding for initiatives which help vulnerable people endure extreme heat over the summer.
Simms’ proposal is modelled on a Melbourne program which has seen the distribution of swimming and locker passes at public pools, and complimentary movie tickets to homeless people by providers such as the Salvation Army.
“It’s something we haven’t seen before in Adelaide and the experience interstate is that it’s had a positive impact,” said Simms.
“We’ve still got just over a month to go of summer and one of the reasons why I’m acting on this now is so that we can get something up quickly.
“There might be other things that service providers might come up with that they could apply for under this amended grant program, but getting people off the street and giving them some respite (from extreme heat) is key.
“It’s about providing some level of enjoyment for people as well.”
Hutt Street Centre CEO Ian Cox said the proposal would contribute dozens of positive outcomes for South Australia’s homeless population.
“People will feel that they’re actually valued,” he said.
“If they can feel really good for a couple of hours of the day … that can help lead to some really good (outcomes).
“Sometimes that could be contributing to housing outcomes, employment outcomes, education outcomes and it might just improve their health for the day and that all adds greater benefits long term.”
He said that extreme weather is known to exacerbate mental and physical health issues, as well as drug and alcohol problems.
“I think that every single homeless service – not just in the inner city but around the Adelaide metropolitan regions would be interested in this.”
“It’s a fantastic thing that Robert suggested and I fully support his proposal.”
Simms will propose the amendment at next Tuesday’s council meeting.
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