A FESTIVAL in October at Main Ridge will feature 100 singers performing to raise money for support programs for homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula.
According to Mornington Peninsula Shire 35 per cent of peninsula residents are in rental stress, while 12 per cent of those experiencing homelessness are sleeping rough in cars or on the foreshore.
Low income residents are being forced off the peninsula and away from their support networks and family as fewer than one in three peninsula rental properties are affordable, according to Southern Peninsula Community Support CEO Jeremy Maxwell.
Maxwell said housing and homeless support programs delivered by Western Port, Southern Peninsula, and Mornington community support centres were a lifeline for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, but they were stretched beyond capacity.
“There are no government-funded agencies on the peninsula providing preventative case managed housing support to those at high risk of becoming homeless and facing impending homelessness,” he said.
“And there are nearly 4000 residents on the public housing waiting list.”
To contribute to the community support teams, Flinders Fringe Festival has teamed up with Uncommon Folk to present Street Requiem on the Ridge.
The musical and multimedia event will see singers accompanied by a small orchestra to perform selected movements of Street Requiem, composed by Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch.
A world-renowned composer and conductor, McGuire will conduct the performance that will also include Makepisi, a South African a cappella group, and projected images by documentary photographer Noa Smith Fletcher.
“Ultimately, the work is intended to be a universal plea to recognise those who have suffered, to acknowledge those who still suffer, and to inspire people and society into action – as individuals and as a community – to respect and protect the dignity of all humans regardless of their situation, background or beliefs,” McGuire said.
The performance will be held in an equestrian arena at Uncommon Folk Farm. Uncommon Folk says it is committed to driving positive environmental and social change and is providing the venue and covering all costs so that 100 per cent of money raised through donations and ticket sales goes to the three community support centres.
Nina Sharpe, head of impact at Uncommon Folk, said Street Requiem would tell “untold stories to develop the community’s awareness of the need to make changes to create a safe and just society for all”.
“There’s a huge opportunity for the peninsula to be an example of how we can change the system by using the power of many.”
The event is supported by the Mornington Peninsula Foundation and the shire.
Street Requiem on the Ridge will be held 5pm to 7pm on Saturday 21 October at Uncommon Folk Farm, 328 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge.