Building home and community
Established in 2010, the chaplaincy program focusses on nurturing healthy communities that are safe, inclusive and empowering. Housing Chaplains, like Luke Finlay, provide vital support to many residents, whether they are new or long-time residents. This ‘wrap-around support service’ works on building people’s resilience. As a key presence on the ground, they engage heavily in supporting individuals who need it and foster community development.
"Each tenant comes with different life experiences and a different future ahead of them—many of our tenants present with complex issues requiring support to sustain their tenancy. Past events continue to have an impact on their everyday lives. These events can happen to any one of us. While most people need some security and stability to get back on track, many need ongoing support. That's where I come in. I'm able to offer pastoral care to those who need it for as long as they do," Luke said.
"A safe place to call home means people are better able to deal with other aspects of their life, such as their mental health, education, employment and community participation. It's not rocket science; we all need somewhere to feel safe and secure before we can sort out the more difficult things. I've been a Housing Chaplain for eight years now. I get to see first-hand why it can take some time before someone feels their house is a home. I've seen how, when they are feeling safe and secure in their homes, they are better able to look beyond their homes. With support, they soon feel empowered and can play a role in creating a community where they live.
“Our award-winning Social Club in Bongaree is a case in point. The Club has been a lifeline to many. The residents have done it all. They have demonstrated how a small group of individuals – most in their twilight years – can work together successfully and productively and in doing so, support each other through the good times and the bad. This is what building communities are all about," he said.
Our approach as a developer is simple—improve living standards through simple yet effective design strategies. Social and community housing makes a vital contribution to the creation of vibrant and diverse communities. It’s very much a safety net for people who face barriers to sustaining a tenancy in the private rental market or who struggle to find accommodation that meets their physical needs. It’s the foundation for a new beginning.
In mid-2021, Churches of Christ Housing Services will expand the housing offering at Bongaree when 83 new seniors apartments become available. Chaplain Luke will be front and centre to support the residents as they start on their new housing journey.