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Magpie Nest funding boost from Collingwood Football Club

The Collingwood Football Club Foundation, in partnership with The Salvation Army and with the backing of the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government, has pledged $150,000 over three years to support rough sleepers and the Hamodava Café which serves homeless and disadvantaged people in Melbourne.

The Hamodava Café at Bourke Street Melbourne provides breakfast and lunch each day in a café-style environment for members of the public, and especially for people experiencing homelessness. It is also the site for a range of support services including free legal advice, housing assistance, counselling services and alcohol and mental health services. 

The funding forms part of the Magpie Nest program that has seen Collingwood Football Club rent 25 houses for people experiencing homelessness. In two years the project has put a roof over the heads of more than 100 Melburnians. 

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire announced the additional funding yesterday and said he was proud of the partnership between the two organisations. 

“The people who made our club were from the lowest socio economic backgrounds. Today it is important to us that the Collingwood Football Club stands for something in the community because we don’t forget where we came from.”

He said that the new stage of the partnership would help provide a point of contact for people isolated and at risk of homelessness.  

"The Hamodava Café does what a café does. It doesn’t matter what your socio economic background is – everyone wants a cup of coffee or tea and something to eat. But it’s also a vital contact point and support network for people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne."

The Salvation Army’s Major Brendan Nottle said, “We are very thankful to the Collingwood Football Club Foundation, The Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne for their commitment and on-going support in addressing one of the most significant issues faced by our society.”

He said the Magpie Nest program treats people with dignity and is more than just about providing a bed. 

“This project is about giving people with the dignity and respect they deserve. We want to treat people like kings and queens,” he said. 

“The café here in Melbourne is an important part of the Magpie Nest as it gives people the supports they need to get back on their feet. There’s an incredibly strong sense of community and belonging here and that’s a significant part of the program.”  

Magpie Nest ribbon cutting at Melbourne 614

Eddie McGuire, Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell, the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, and Major Brendan Nottle. 

Magpie Nest housing success

  • The program has supported over 100 participants 
  • 30 per cent of participants have transitioned to rental or community housing
  • 15 per cent have moved to homes interstate with family or a partner
  • Houses are now provided exclusively for women.

About Magpie Nest housing

Magpie Nest currently has 25 houses operating around Melbourne providing homes for up to 70 people. In 2012 The Collingwood Football Club Foundation partnered with The Salvation Army Project 614 Team and plans are underway to expand the project further with a goal of reaching 50 houses in 2015.Salvation Army case workers, funded by the Victorian State Government and the Salvation Army, identify and provide wrap-around case management support for participants in the program.