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LJ Hooker Traralgon are helping to house Victoria’s homeless

By Stacey Moseley on Jun 14 2017


LJ Hooker Traralgon has joined forces with philanthropist investor Jessica Pearce to bring safe, not-for-profit housing to the homeless.

Ms Pearce has purchased four properties for the sole reason to offer crisis accommodation to rural Victoria’s homeless. Altogether, the four properties were bought by Ms Pearce for about $700,000.

LJ Hooker Traralgon Principal Russell Chester and his team have offered to manage the homes free of charge and will work with local businesses and tradies to get the homes up to scratch for the short-term tenants.

Along with Ms Pearce, they’ve also set up a registered charity Helping Homeless that people and businesses can donate money to.

“When we heard about the amazing work Jessica was doing, we had to get involved,” Mr Chester said.

“We’re now working with Jessica and a number of businesses and individuals to furnish the properties. We’re looking for household items, white goods and more.”

LJ Hooker Traralgon and Ms Pearce are operating with welfare groups such as Anglicare to place homeless people into these short-term rentals. The aim is to create transitional homes that will allow tenants to move on to more permanent housing. 

Mr Chester said he also hopes to have some tenants come on board for a 12-month lease at a heavily reduced rent.

“This will help the tenant earn a positive rental history and allow them to use LJ Hooker as a reference,” he said.

Ms Pearce, who is the CEO of a family-owned company, said she came up with the idea after visiting Melbourne’s CBD and seeing the large number of homeless people living on the streets.

“After talking to homeless people and hearing their stories about squatting in abandoned houses to try and keep the kids warm, I knew I had to give back,” she said.

Ms Pearce has appeared on The Project, ABC Radio and SBS to share her story.

To find out more, follow Helping Homeless on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/helpinghomeless.com.au/
 

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