Three Sista’s is a social enterprise that provides support to the displaced and homeless via a private model of social housing accommodation in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Three Sista’s was formed by two committed social entrepreneurs – Stuart Wright and Janet Guthrie, who identified the need for increased social responsibility in the provision of safe, friendly and culturally sensitive accommodation and associated services. To address this issue and provide a solution, Three Sista’s approached Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) who provided $450,000 to primarily assist with acquiring management rights over 68 low-rent units and providing associated tenant services in Cairns. Three Sista’s goal is to contribute to the long term well-being of socially disadvantaged and Indigenous people living in the homelessness stream in the Cairns and Cape York regions by improving health and living standards, accommodation and employment opportunities.
To acquire management rights and purchase several units in Cairns including a vacant parcel of land for future growth, but also to expedite further tenant services, such as community gardens and work for the dole initiatives, an on-site cafe, community bus services, dedicated family areas that engage external health service providers and special children’s programs.
In mid-2012, Three Sista’s took over the management of 68 low-rent units, providing social accommodation and support to approximately 2,910 tenants between 2012 and 2015.
Three Sista’s was established in 2011, with a business model that they hope to scale as a going concern.
Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA Loan Fund)
Three Sista’s Pty Ltd
Impact Investment Fund
- Debt – Social Enterprise Finance Australia – total of $450,000
Three Sistas approached SEFA in 2012 with a proposal to acquire the management rights at Palm Plaza. The proposal for development of the crisis accommodation combined mission and entrepreneurship, and matched SEFA’s own mission well.
According to a demographic study cited by Three Sista’s, 1.6% of the population or 2303 people are living on the streets in Cairns, the highest proportion of Australia’s 18 largest cities. The study also revealed the average length of time spent homeless in Cairns 4.18 years and the longest time spent homeless is 46 years. Three Sista’s has developed a model of support and empowerment that directly contributes to the improvement of health and living standards, emergency housing and employment opportunities for socially disadvantaged families, displaced and indigenous people in Cairns.
As at 5 January 2016, Three Sista’s has taken over the management of 68 low-rent units, providing accommodation and tenant services to over 2,900 tenants who would otherwise be homeless or living in unsuitable accommodation.
Three Sista’s plans to continue to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, and was recently awarded the Best for the World – Overall, having the highest impact amongst the 1,247 B Corps across the globe.