RedLink promises better service and security
REDFERN: A new 24/7 security and concierge service is in operation at the Redfern public housing towers. The RedLink Integrated Services Hub is a purpose-designed office space located at the McKell building on 55 Walker Street.
The hub aims to connect residents with security, health and legal services as well as conduct activities aimed at addressing social isolation, crime prevention and personal wellbeing.
Paul O’Rielly, District Director at Family and Community Services Sydney, says the hub was necessary to ensure residents felt safe in their homes. “While many agencies have been providing an outreach service to people in this location for many years, the community have been asking for something that is more integrated with the estate.
“Residents in the McKell Building have felt unsafe for some time due to the antisocial behaviour of some residents and visitors. While we are working hard to deal with tenants who engage in criminal and antisocial behaviour, we also feel that is important to boost security arrangements for the benefit of all residents. Public housing residents are entitled to feel safe in their homes, and in some instances additional measures are required to achieve this.”
Laura Kelly of the Housing Communities Program at Counterpoint Community Services says her organisation has supported the introduction of a service such as the RedLink Hub for many years. “The Neighbourhood Advisory Board, our organisation and other tenants living in the area have long advocated for this service to be rolled out in Redfern due to the high level of anti-social behaviour and drug activity affecting people’s everyday lives.
“People often tailgate into the building to access units, or worse, break the security doors to gain access. In addition, empty units were occupied by squatters, or people were sleeping rough in common areas of the building.”
Although the services have been operational for a short period of time, community feedback has been positive overall. “Our first RedLink legal advice workshop was held last week and was very well received by participants. Early indications are that the community is very pleased with the development of this model,” says Mr O’Rielly.
Ms Kelly agrees that the rollout has had an encouraging response from residents. “I would say there has been a noticeable improvement to the security in the area. Tenants that I have spoken to on the Neighbourhood Advisory Board have nothing but good things to say about the new service.
“They feel a lot safer, particularly at night time, as it has prevented tailgating of others into the building, the entrance area from Walker Street is now well lit, and other modifications to the building have prevented people from outside sleeping in the common areas once inside the building,” she says.
The RedLink Hub is available to any social housing residents in the area who need assistance, not only to those living in McKell.
Plans to expand the services to the other three high-rises (Kendall, Gilmore and Lawson) will continue this year.