Tradies join forces to tackle housing crisis
SUNSHINE Coast tradies are banding together to tackle a crisis in accommodation which is affecting people with disabilities.
More than four million people in Australia have some form of disability (or 1 in 5) with approximately half of this group (2.2M) having moderate to mild 'core activity limitations' who could lead independent lives with the right support and life skills training.
The Murphy family have joined STEPS Charity and local businesses, to provide the opportunity for independent living.
The Murphy's, Ben, his sister Brooke Bastien and father Leigh, of Murphy Homes, are donating a great deal of time and resources to STEPS Charity to build the Pathways Project, live in training home for people with disabilities to learn the skills to live independently.
The family form part of an expanding group of local tradespeople, businesses and members of the community working together to build this iconic prototype at Caloundra with the potential to expand the concept nationwide.
"Just like a lot of the tradies and suppliers coming on board, we wanted to get involved in this project because we felt it was our responsibility to give back to the community, which has given so much to us over the past 30 years," Ben said.
"Whether it's disability, injury or illness, there's not one person who hasn't been affected by it," Ben said.
"What you and I can do and what people with disabilities can do are at times worlds apart, so we say make a difference when you can - your life's not that bad."
Ms Bastien said she is really looking forward to seeing the reaction of those with disabilities who will benefit from the project when it's finished.
"Like anything, giving someone something to make life better, is really rewarding," Leigh said.
"We're very lucky with our lot and every day we live without injury, illness or disability is a bonus we can't take for granted."
The aim of the Pathways project is to teach people with disabilities skills like cooking, cleaning, budgeting and more while they live in purpose built training homes, which reflect independent living.
The STEPS Pathways build is due to be completed in late June this year.
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson will turn the sod on the project on Friday.
To get involved or find out more information visit "STEPS Pathways Project" at stepsgroup.com.au or call 07 5458 3000.