Home' The Southern Cross : March 2015 Contents Page 8 March 2015
Southern Cross | news
A not-for-profit housing company is giving
single parents at risk of homelessness
the chance to rebuild their lives with their
children via access to affordable two-
bedroom accommodation in the heart of
“I would have ended up in a boarding
house and I wouldn’t have been able to
have my daughter with me and that would
have been very distressing,” says 42-year-
old single mum Michelle.
Last year Michelle was forced out of her
home and was sleeping rough. She spent
four months in supported accommodation
at Catherine House without her daughter
Since January Michelle and Tahlia have
been living in Common Ground Adelaide’s
latest affordable housing development at
Mellor St, in the CBD.
The $15.5 million Mellor St apartments
officially open in April and are the first by
Common Ground to provide two-bedroom
accommodation for small families on
low incomes or at risk of homelessness.
Thirteen of the 57 Mellor St units have two
“There is a real lack of safe, affordable
accommodation for single-parent families
in the city,” said Common Ground
Adelaide chief executive officer Maria
“These families are some of the most
vulnerable people in South Australia,” she
“By providing them with housing where
they are close to services and support,
we are putting them in the best possible
position to build a better future.”
Michelle says she and Tahlia now have a
place to call home and a stable, supported
foundation for her to return to studies to
pursue a career in social work.
“The apartment is really amazing,” says
Michelle. “It is modern, there are two
bedrooms and we are looking at views
of the city and the university that I will be
going back to soon.”
Under the Mellor St tenancy agreement,
tenants pay roughly a third of their income
to rent and they pay for power. Tenants
have access to nearby dentists, doctors,
counsellors, personal development and
training programs to help them reach
education, employment, health and
Common Ground Adelaide is a not-for-
profit organisation providing affordable,
stable and quality accommodation for
people who have been homeless or are at
risk of sleeping rough.
It has housed more than 200 men, women
and children since being established in
2006 by the South Australian Government.
The Mellor St apartment building – funded
by State and Federal governments and
foundation sponsor Santos – is the fifth
Common Ground project in SA and is
based on a New York model developed by
social policy guru and former Thinker in
Residence Rosanne Haggerty.
For more information visit
Common Ground at www.
Continued from page 1.
Mr Mead said studies had shown the
death penalty was not a deterrent to
crime and that more and more countries
were abolishing the brutal practice. “It
is important that the death penalty is
abolished throughout the world,” he said.
“It’s an extremely harsh penalty that
does not give people any opportunity to
Mr Kenny said he had experienced the
torment of capital punishment after his
client, Adelaide man Robert Langdon was
sentenced to death by an Afghan court.
His sentence was reduced to a 20 year
term in 2011 and he remains in Kabul’s
notorious Pol-e-Charki prison.
“I know what it feels like to be facing that
situation and it’s terrible; it’s terrible for the
person and it’s terrible for the family and
it’s terrifying that a State can kill human
beings,” he said.
Mary MacKillop College student Elyse
Gambell attended the vigil with her mother
Anita and teacher Claire MacLennan to
support the Bali inmates and voice their
“I’m here because it’s nice to get together
as a community in a peaceful and
respectful way to show that we do not
support what is happening in Indonesia
and to show these people and their
families that we care,” she said.
Meanwhile the Papua New Guinea Catholic
Church is stepping up its opposition to
government plans to apply the death
penalty, which has not been used for the
past 50 years, after approving death by
injection, firing squad and hanging.
Archbishop John Ribat told ABC Radio
Australia last month that life sentences
were a more humane punishment. He said
Australia, and it’s very public opposition
to the Indonesian executions, could put
pressure on the PNG government to find
alternatives to the death penalty.
Editor’s note: The lawyer for Andrew and
Myuran agreed to forward this article to the
families of the prisoners and he told The
Southern Cross “these things buoy them
PERFECT RECIPE: Single mum Michelle and her daughter Tahlia working with case manager Mark Kruszynski in a cooking
group run by Common Ground Adelaide to help support Mellor St tenants with their skills and nutrition.
Prayerful plea for death row prisoners
IN SOLIDARITY: Lawyer Stephen Kenny and Fr Philip Marshall with OLSH students, and right, St Aloysius College principal Paddy McEvoy (centre) at the vigil
Photos: Nat Rogers
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