Collingwood’s Magpie Nest Housing Project takes people sleeping rough on the streets and in unsafe rooming houses and provides them with quality and safe accommodation, reduced rents, and wrap-around case management support with links to mental health services, employment and training assistance.

The first trial phase of the joint initiative between the Collingwood Football Club Foundation and the Salvation Army has seen the establishment of eight Magpie Nest houses now operating in Melbourne with 24 beds.

More than 300 homeless people are listed with the Salvation Army as looking for safe accommodation across Melbourne. As part of Magpie Nests, Salvation Army Case Workers, funded by the State Government identify and mentor participants and oversee the day to day operation of the houses.

Collingwood Football Club Foundation ambassador and Collingwood player, Dane Swan has spent time with a number of the Magpie Nest tenants in their houses and said the project’s success so far has come through its ability to create meaningful relationships with the Magpie Nest tenants.

“By treating people with respect and care, the Salvation Army case workers are able to build relationships and trust with the tenants.

“The safe and settled home environment enables the tenants to access proper health care and support.

It also makes it possible for the tenants to find employment and eventually transition into public or private housing,” Swan said.

The Collingwood Football Club Foundation hopes to be able to expand the project further with a long term goal of reaching 50 houses.

Magpie Nest is delivered in partnership with the Safe Exits Project 614 team from the Salvation Army which receives funding from the State Government.