As we reach the final weeks of the Barry Street Blog, we’re looking back at the success of the project with those who played key roles – and also reflecting on the impact accessible housing has on CLRS’s clients. This week, we spoke to Leah Taaffe (CEO of CLRS), who oversaw the design, planning and construction of the Barry Street units as part of the Project Control Group.
When asked why the Opening Doors Project is so important for the local community, Leah said, “The first and most important one, is that it provides permanent safe housing for people with disability in our community. And the second one, is that it injects a significant amount of income into our economy. So our most recent project cost $1.8 million to build, and that all goes straight back into our community.”
As CEO of CLRS, Leah is passionate about ensuring people with disability who live in our local communities have access to housing that suits their needs. She says, “… when you have a disability, you need the greatest opportunity possible to be as independent as you can be. And what these homes and design standards do, is enable that to happen for everybody. In this project, you can get in and out of the house without having a step. The walls are reinforced, and it’s a really nice, quiet environment – and the bathrooms are built so that if you have any additional support needs, then you can have that happen in the bathroom and you’re perfectly safe”.
Leah also commends the projects, for bringing security to the families of people with disability, saying, “… the benefit of these houses for the families of our people with disability, is that they know they have secure housing that’s affordable for their person with disability and that makes them as independent as possible.”
When discussing the impact these accessible housing options have had for clients living in the homes, Leah says, “So having a home that supports you to be as independent as possible, has great benefit for people with disability. We’ve seen some of the people that we support who used to have staff 24/7 overnight every day of the week, now don’t have staff overnight because they don’t need it anymore. We’ve seen people being able to welcome other people into their homes whenever they’ve felt like it … because they don’t have to have staff all of the time. We’ve seen people being able to build their own gardens, have pets, which they weren’t able to do before”.
CLRS have now completed four Opening Doors Projects, providing homes for 20 people with disability in the local community. In 2023, CLRS will be delivering a new Opening Doors Project – building 2 units in Spoonbill Street, Moama. This project has been majorly funded by a very generous donation from a local couple, who wish to remain anonymous. We have also already received support from 29 local businesses towards the project. This is the largest donation Community Living & Respite Services has ever received, and we are incredibly grateful for it.
Initiatives like ‘The Opening Doors Project’ are only possible through your support, so liking, following, sharing, and commenting are all fantastic ways to help spread the word on social media.
The projects are also dependent on fundraising, and couldn’t be delivered without the generosity of the community.
You can support the ‘Opening Doors Project’ by making a donation at https://www.givenow.com.au/clrs where all donations above $2 are tax deductible. You can also support by purchasing a ticket to our upcoming Fundraising Dinner at the Moama Bowling Club. This will be our 15th Annual Fundraising Dinner, and will feature guest speaker Peter Rowsthorn, who you may recognise as ‘Bretty’ in Australia’s most successful sitcom, Kath and Kim.
Please continue to follow along with progress and fundraisers being shared across the following platforms:
- Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/CLRSopensdoors
- Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/openingdoorsprojectclrs/
- Youtube ~ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwZi2fvGc57pdt6UMCsl8iw
If you’re new to the Barry St Blog series, we’d love for you to go back and take a look at our previous blogs and videos:
- AN INTRODUCTION TO ‘THE BARRY STREET PROJECT blog = https://clrs.org.au/an-introduction-to-the-barry-street-project/
- MAIN PREPARATIONS DURING THE DESIGN PERIOD blog = https://clrs.org.au/main-preparations-during-the-design-period/
- THE ROLE OF THE BARRY STREET USER GROUPS blog = https://clrs.org.au/the-role-of-the-barry-street-user-groups/
- WHY IS THE OPENING DOORS PROJECT SO IMPORTANT? blog = https://clrs.org.au/why-is-the-opening-doors-project-so-important
- CONSTRUCTION UPDATE WITH KYLIE BRUNS blog = https://clrs.org.au/construction-update-with-kylie-bruns/
- JACK BOURKE OF THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM blog = https://clrs.org.au/jack-bourke-of-the-construction-team/
- PETER GODFREY – ECHUCA METALAND blog = https://clrs.org.au/peter-godfrey-echuca-metaland/
- FIONA RAVERTY – PARENT OF CLIENT blog = https://clrs.org.au/fiona-raverty-parent-of-client/
- ALEX – CERNO PROJECT MANAGEMENT blog = https://clrs.org.au/alex-cerno-project-management/
- Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) gives an overview of the Barry Street Project video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWjs7uDY4rs
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Alex Crabtree from Cerno video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-QmTEnH3uw
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Annie’s Insights video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxUB-yM5hOk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Alastair video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_KJCAbtGGA
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Fiona video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGfPxwHWXy8
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Chatting to Kylie video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HagLuwI2wyk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Jack Bourke video = https://youtu.be/PSdQYnothEk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Peter from Echuca Metaland video = https://youtu.be/D5gXvK2FKn8
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Fiona Raverty video = https://youtu.be/XWfMB1AHaQM
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Cliff & Maree Downey video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwAG1HyAc5c
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Alex from CERNO video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDoZ7c6Jxe0&t=4s