Ausnew Home Care | Mates with disability move into new purpose-built

Mates with disability move into new purpose-built 'forever' home for Christmas

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Longtime friends John, Malcolm and Brendan knew months ago where they wanted to set up the Christmas tree in their new house — now they'll get to do it.

This week the men, who all live with an intellectual disability, were given early Christmas presents — the keys to their brand-new, purpose-built 'forever' home in Townsville. 

John Galligan, Malcolm Growns and Brendan Duncanson are not only housemates, they are friends and also work colleagues.

They love being able to live independently with assistance from their support workers, but for a while now, they have needed more suitable housing.

a man in a white shirt standing in a room smiling, holding a small present box. Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, My Aged Care
Malcolm Growns with a gift box containing his early Christmas present — the keys to his new home.(ABC North Queensland: Mia Knight)

All three of the men work for the Endeavour Foundation charity, pulling apart electronic devices and televisions for scrap metal.

Yesterday, the charity presented the men with gift boxes containing door keys at a ceremony to celebrate the completion of their new house.

The Endeavour Foundation's interim CEO, David Bower, said the home built for Mr Gowns, Mr Galligan and Mr Duncanson had been specially designed to enable them to live there together for many years to come.

"If they do need support as they grow older, the home can accommodate that," he said.

three men in fluro yellow shirts and aprons stand together.
John, Brendan and Malcolm work together at the Endeavour Foundation.(ABC North Queensland: Dwayne Wyles)

'More like brothers'

Brittany Kelsall, who works as a home site supervisor for the men, said the trio loved living together and had settled into a happy routine over the years.

"They all have their set days where they have their set chores and cook dinner," she said.

Ms Kelsall said the men were very excited about moving into their new home. 

"They told me where they want to put their Christmas tree and where they want their TVs to go about three months ago," she said.

a woman in a colourful dress holding a present stands next to a man in a white shirt.
Home site supervisor Brittany Kelsall with Mr Growns.(ABC North Queensland: Mia Knight)

The men are thrilled they will be able to continue living together into the future.

"Brendan and Malcolm have been great friends to me for many years," Mr Galligan said.

He summed up what the trio think about their new home.

"They've done a good job with the yard and everything … it's a nice house, very nice."   

Charity's $45m investment to house 600

The men's new home has been funded by the Endeavour Foundation's new My Home, My Life initiative.

Over the next four years, the charity will invest $45 million across the state, with $2.8 million to be spent in Townsville and Ayr.

It aims to provide 600 Queenslanders with accessible housing.

Three men hold a canvas displaying an illustration of their future home which will be purpose built for their needs.
The purpose-built home for Malcolm Growns (left), John Galligan (centre) and Brendan Duncanson will cater for their specific needs.(ABC North Qld: Mia Knight)

Mr Bower said there were about 800 people in Queensland who needed purpose-built accommodation.

"We've committed to building 70 brand new homes and renovating another 26 to the Platinum Standard of the Livable Housing Australia Guidelines," Mr Bower said.

"That incorporates things like wider doorways, wider hallways, wider bathrooms, adjustable heights on benches, independent security alarms in their bedrooms.

'There'll be a house-warming party' 

Mr Gowns, Mr Galligan and Mr Duncanson will move into their new home this week and already have plans to celebrate.

Three men sitting down, one in the middle is untying the ribbon of a box.
John Galligan opens his gift box.(Supplied: Endeavour Foundation)

"It's been nice to see everybody happy and smiling and enjoy the new house," Mr Galligan said.

Mr Bower said finding homes in Queensland's tight property market to renovate and make accessible was becoming more challenging.

"It is really tough, the housing market in general throughout Queensland and Australia has gone through the roof from an affordability point of view," he said.

"To find a block of land that we can build on or to find a home that we can refurbish to the required standard is getting harder and harder."

Source: ABC

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