Our HistoryThe Daniel Street Development Story
In 1989, our story began with a local family whose son had a disability. They were frustrated with the lack of support in the area., so, they set up a facility to be run locally for people with a disability, initially in their garage, then in a rented room in town, then a rented house.
Daniel Street – our current address, belonged to that family and they sold it to SCILS a few years ago. It was little house and they built a very long oblong room, behind the house – known as the “Long Room” where workers and clients got together for some of their group activities. They also managed to purchase a property behind it (Tamper Street) with the plan to provide accommodation support..
In 2008 the decision was made to move out from Daniel Street and enter into a five year lease of a property in Howard Street, Nambour. The Daniel Street property was put up for sale, and the Tamper Street property was made available for private rental. However, there was a management change and when the sale fell through, the new management team decided to retain the property. For a time it was rented out to another service provider. A Development Steering Group was formulated with the objective to manage the planning and decision making processes necessary for SCILS’ to realise it’s vision: to develop the Daniel Street & Tamper Street properties and return it’s operations to the developed site in 2013. We just explored different ways of development, unfortunately the Tamper Street property was zoned residential and there wasn’t the possibility of transferring the zoning to commercial use. So we sold Tamper Street and used the sale proceeds to help fund the development on Daniel street.
In the leased building at Howard Street – we had our clients’ room out the back, but it was a steep drive to the entrance; even the gateway was on a slope. It was also quite dark; although we spend much of our time with clients “out and about” but on a wet day it was a pretty miserable room. We brightened it up, we painted it, we covered it up with all sorts of things, but it was never the best designed space for people with disabilities.
We considered whether to go back and develop Daniel Street, or to look for a place that’s a bit bigger. We just went through all these phases of thought but we wanted to stay in the town because Nambour is a transport hub, so the clients are more able to get to us. We felt it was really important that we manage to stay in the town. Commercial properties with big rooms allowing for big get-togethers are just not here, or are very expensive. So we just continued to explore all the possibilities and thought – why don’t we try and think about how we can use what we’ve got?
So what was the moment that we decided to develop and refurbish the property and really made that commitment to use the assets already in our possession.
At a meeting with our architect (the brother of one of our clients, and a prior president of the Management Committee) in 2010, it was made clear to us that the Daniel Street property could be developed sufficient for our needs.
Throughout the construction process , we had an arrangement with one of our clients who is really keen on photography. He visited every couple of weeks or so with his worker, both wearing their hard white hats and taook photos of the progress. He’s got this great photo of all the scaffolding. That’s just an example of community ownership of the development.
Our clients were very excited about our return. They don’t necessarily like change. Initially we did have some clients who just did not like the notion of having to move back. You know, if you do something every week on a Tuesday….they (our clients) need to be told and involved in the process – with the concept plans made available for everyone to see, and many walk-by “visits”.