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Summary

Santos will provide $3 million over five years to help Common Ground establish affordable housing and related services for more than a hundred homeless and low-income Australians.

Santos will provide $3 million over five years to help Common Ground establish affordable housing and related services for more than a hundred homeless and low-income Australians.

Under this new alliance, Santos becomes Common Ground’s first Community Partner and its largest corporate donor in Australia.

The funding will go towards establishing an affordable accommodation and services hub in Adelaide’s Light Square, including 52 apartments, meeting rooms, kitchens, an arts studio, outdoor areas, and a dedicated vehicle. The hub will also provide specialist staff and services in the areas of employment, training and mental health, and arts and recreation programs.

Santos’ funding will also establish 40 home units in Port Augusta, with offices, common room and computer facilities.

Santos Chief Executive Officer David Knox said the partnership “is a key to building independence, confidence, and safe, secure and fulfilling lives for people in need who would otherwise be homeless”.

“This alliance with Common Ground adds a new dimension to our widespread support of the South Australian community – it takes it to a new level.”

South Australian Premier Hon Mike Rann MP said that tackling homelessness has been a key priority of the State Government and its Social Inclusion Initiative which have been prepared to find – and back – better initiatives to overcome social disadvantage.

“Under the leadership of Social Inclusion Commissioner, David Cappo, South Australia is the only state in Australia where homelessness has decreased, according to ABS statistics.

“We are grateful to Santos for demonstrating a real commitment to helping disadvantaged people with this significant contribution to the Common Ground initiative in South Australia,” Mr Rann said.

Common Ground Adelaide Ltd Chairperson Theo Maras said: “The exceptional contribution from Santos will have a major impact on our ability to perform and provide the service and programs that form the basis of Common Ground’s model for helping the disadvantaged.”

Common Ground was founded in New York in 1990 by former South Australian Thinker in Residence Rosanne Haggerty, and is now introducing its model of supportive housing and related research-based services to disadvantaged people around the world.

Ms Haggerty brought the concept to Australia when she spent time in Adelaide as a Thinker in Residence in 2005 and 2006. South Australia was the first state to implement the Common Ground model, which has since received more than $120 million in government funding for more than 500 apartments and related projects in five Australian states and territories.