Building a future for the homeless

Building a future for the homeless


Article by Chris Herde, pages 67 & 69, Courier Mail, 18 April 2019.

For Greg Clarke the link between the property industry and supporting homeless youth is obvious.

After 40 years in the industry Mr Clarke earlier this year was appointed the new Queensland Chairman of the property industry-backed Property Industry Foundation (PIF).

The new job comes after the foundation passed the $1 million milestone in donations to a variety of projects since the Queensland chapter was established in 2013.

Mr Clarke said the property industry is in the perfect position to help tackle youth homelessness.

"The Property Industry Foundation is pretty much focused on what my professional life is all about," he said.

"It focuses on property and construction in ways which can help address youth homelessness and those at risk of homelessness."

Mr Clarke, who took over as PIF Chairman from Brian McGuckin, started his career as a valuer in 1977 and joined McGees Property in 1983. He was appointed director of McGees in 1988 and has remained in the role.

PIF has grown and in the past year key events such as Colliers International's client luncheon, Hutchinson Builders' tinnie raffle, the Sailing Challenge, PIF gala dinner and Tour de PIF Cycling have raised significant funds.

Funds have been used to assist projects including employing a speech therapist and assisting Charity Partners Act for Kids, the Reconnect Program, Mission Australia and Brisbane Youth Service.

PIF has also contributed to the Anglicare Homelessness Services facility in Toowong with the keys to the first refurbished block of units handed over in March and work will be completed on the second block in September.

Mr Clarke said there were almost 5,500 people under the age of 18 in Queensland who are homeless and those under 12 make up the largest group without a secure home.

"It's a serious problem," he said. "If children fall through the cracks of the family unit they start to drift away and that's where homelessness starts."