Posted on May 08, 2018

Matt Maudlin spent many years with Servants Community Housing eventually being CEO there.

In that time he developed a deep understanding about the issue of homelessness.  He related a simple but powerful story of how when he was in Sydney he was attracted to a homeless street person and took the opportunity to converse with him for a time.  It struck him that passers-by noted the two together and many gave financial support to that individual.  What confounded Matt that once he (Matt) moved on he observed that the passing public seemed uncomfortable about or didn’t know how to help. They rarely did.


Matt concluded Governments alone cannot resolve the homeless issue with cash grants, etc but the community could.  So Matt and his colleague Peter Barber are working with the community to put up a collective hand to say ‘STOP. ENOUGH’.  They believe that most people care about the homeless folk on our streets,  but need guidance on how to assist.  Hence their Purple Cloak project.


We heard that it aims to take people who are ready to exit tertiary homelessness settings (boarding houses etc) and reintegrate into mainstream society by providing them with decent leased housing options, and also COMMUNITY SUPPORT with a ‘Cloak’ of committed community members to share their skills, networks and experiences to help individuals realise their potential.  Perpetual support is not envisaged-there would a three year review/goal.


The Purple Cloak is an NGO, it does not look for financial support from Government.  In their view this entire project will survive and prosper on the generosity of the community (financial and otherwise).  They perceive that flow on impacts of rehousing just a few can be significant.  The Purple Cloak will be housing its first 2 clients in the very early part of 2018.