Celebrating the First Birthday of a New Home Sat 25 August 2012 Cassy O'Connor Minister for Human Services The Minister for Human Services, Cassy O'Connor, today joined residents and staff to celebrate the first anniversary of tenants moving into a $4.1 million supported accommodation development in Ulverstone. The first group of North West Coasters moved into Grove House in August 2011 to begin a new chapter of their lives in a caring, supportive community. "The Tasmanian Government knows that stable and secure accommodation in a caring community like Grove House can turn lives around," Ms O'Connor said. "The delightful first year anniversary celebration today really reinforced that fact for me as Minister privileged to hold the Human Services portfolio. "Some of the people I have met here today, felt they had no place to go and nowhere to turn 12 months ago. "Today we laughed and ate together - a meal prepared by the residents - and shared stories of lives turned around by Grove House and the fabulous staff from Anglicare and Community Housing Ltd. "With this support and places that are real, secure homes, residents have re-joined the community and are making a real difference in their own lives and the lives of others." Ms O'Connor said Tasmania's supported accommodation model was successful because it linked residents to training, education, employment and community life. "A socially inclusive community like this makes sure that every member of our community feels valued and empowered as an equal citizen." Ms O'Connor said the Tasmanian Government was committed to finding permanent solutions to homelessness. "Under the Tasmanian Homelessness Plan we have established five supported accommodation facilities like Grove House," she said. "Overall, State and Australian government funding has enabled us to provide more than 1 400 new homes for Tasmanians by the end of June 2012. "The Tasmanian Government commits over $15 million to more than 20 community sector organisations to provide specialist homelessness services each year. "And we are aiming to further improve how Tasmanians access help through changes to our support and assistance services over the coming year. "Tackling homelessness will remain a government priority because it has no place in a fair and just state like Tasmania." Grove House was the first of five new supported accommodation facilities to open its doors to Tasmanians in need. Anglicare and Community Housing Limited provide support and management to three facilities in the North and North West of the state. Common Ground operates the two facilities in southern Tasmania.