But while fundraising fell short of the $250,000 target, the project still proceeded thanks to support from local suppliers, the trades sector and other businesses, as well as long-term Habitat for Humanity construction partners.
“Local businesses donated building materials and supplies, while local trades and contractors gave their time generously to contribute,” Mr Sarre said.
“Together the diverse supporters made this project possible and allowed it to be delivered within the $145,000 raised, which was only possible because of the enormity of donated materials, trades and contractor support, together with volunteers, who are always the lifeblood of our construction work.”
Studio Purpose was built with labour from 78 volunteers contributing more than 2000 hours, with further off-site support from the broader Habitat team.
“Volunteers included local church members, service clubs, unemployed job seekers and even neighbours, plus staff and students from Murray Bridge High School and Northeast Vocational College,” Mr Sarre said.
Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick addressed the opening on behalf of Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink, celebrating the innovation that secured the project.
“To think we have done what is probably an Australian first is fantastic after people looked outside the square and saw what is possible with the support of volunteers, funds raised locally and interstate and support from local trades and businesses,” he said.
“It is a wonderful example of many organisations working together to improve the outcomes for youth in the Murray Bridge and surrounding region and we look forward to project partners working with these young adults to help them establish skills and capabilities that will underpin outcomes related to long-term sustainable housing, education, training and employment.”
Volunteer Steve Bown, who managed the site from December to June after drafting original plans for the site said it was “always a buzz to do something that benefits someone else”.
“This build has been done during a difficult time – all trades are busy and materials are often in short supply – but the trades and products were available just when we needed them,” he said.
“Many young people will be given a new start through these four apartments and there is pride in volunteering with other local people, helping our community, which is the stuff that makes Murray Bridge such a great community.”