Quest launches major initiative aimed at helping at-risk Australians

by James Wilkinson

With a growing number of individuals and families at risk due to the COVID-19 crisis, Housing All Australians, Quest Apartment Hotels and the Salvation Army have joined forces to provide temporary accommodation, nationally, for Australians who are at risk of homelessness as a result of the pandemic.

The new initiative sees Quest, the franchisor of a network of more than 140 serviced apartment hotels across Australia, providing the Salvation Army with temporary accommodation at rates reflecting a break-even position and no profit.

Robert Pradolin, founder of Housing All Australians (HAA), says the partnership is about ensuring our most vulnerable Australians have a roof over their heads during this crisis and especially with winter approaching.

“Due to this crisis, we know thousands of people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent, we know domestic violence is on the rise and we know these situations can lead to homelessness. We want everyone in our community to have a clean, warm and safe place to sleep at night,” he says.

Quest says it is committed to helping reduce homelessness and has previously partnered with HAA to provide short-term transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.

“Quest has been working with Housing All Australians since mid-2019, working to make a meaningful impact on the issue of homelessness in this country,” says Quest Apartment Hotels Chief Operations Officer, David Mansfield.

“Now more than ever, that partnership has become paramount, and it is a privilege to be able to help in whatever way we can. We are grateful for the hundreds of passionate Quest franchisees around the country prepared to support this incredibly important initiative with us.”

The Salvation Army assists and supports individuals, couples and families right across Australia who may be at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness by providing a range of services including accommodation, case management services to resolve their homelessness experience.

Livia Carusi, National General Manager, Homelessness at Salvation Army says: “This partnership is a wonderful example of the Australian spirit. We do have demand for additional accommodation across Australia especially in response to the needs of families.

“By pulling together with caring corporates like Quest and offering a safe, supportive place for disadvantaged Australians, we can make a huge difference to the lives of many in these tough times,” she says.

“We also know that the availability of short-term accommodation is part of the bigger picture of building much more housing, in particular social housing, for many within our community who are priced out of the private rental market and home ownership. Investing in housing infrastructure will undoubtedly help with the much-needed economic recovery within the country.”

HAA is calling on other serviced apartment operators around the country to join Quest and increase the supply of temporary housing.

“Not only will this initiative provide a safe haven for Australians in need, it will also provide jobs for those working in the hotel sector,” Pradolin says. “This partnership demonstrates, yet again, the level of care for our community that exists within the private sector. We are working with many other private sector organisations nationally that are donating their skills to help vulnerable Australians.

“Quest has to be commended for its leadership and for putting purpose above profit.”