Community Living Association

Community Living Association (CLA)

We are proud to announce that we have joined forces with the Community Living Association (CLA) who have been operating and providing services in Australia since 1989.

CLA manages a range of programs that provide support, create opportunities and promote independence for people with disability or the young at risk.  They work with families, people with mental health issues and with cognitive disabilities. Inclusion can take many forms and include many pathways as there is no one-size-fits all approach. They are adaptive and developmental, but most of all they have a proven history and willingness to look at different options to best support, work with or sponsor, with several affiliated organisations and community projects underway at any one time. CLA believes that relationships are central to creating community inclusion and are therefore a key focus of their work.

Espresso Train: In the community

NCEC & Espresso Train

“We don’t employ people to make coffee; we make coffee so we can employ people.”

In addition to disability services, CLA also offers other services in:

  • Community Connections
  • Brisbane Emergency Response Outreach Service (BEROS)
  • Village Housing
  • Mental Health Social Workers
  • Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW)
  • CLA is a registered NDIS provider offering support services in the Brisbane region.
  • They have four National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) teams that work with people with a disability:
  • Community Living Program (CLP): is our generalist disability support team that provides both core and capacity building supports. Services include individual and group supports, counselling and assessments. The latter is conducted by our qualified social workers.
  • ARROS provides pro-active outreach to young people who are at risk of homelessness. Their services include specialised counselling.
  • Support Coordination- provides support coordination and specialist support to NDIS participants.
  • Plan Management – provides plan management, also known as ‘Improved Life Choices’ to NDIS participants.

The Community Living Association is the quiet achiever, a proven entity that reaches out and touches every aspect of community, doing the work and carrying out the services we all take for granted. It is why we have joined with them through the provision of providing funds raised through the donations received via the MY COFFEE COUNTS program that makes us strive to aid and deliver your support to making our communities inclusive and accommodating for all.

CLA & My Coffee Counts

Community Living Association Inc was established in 1989 by a group of young people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities and their families to support their move to Independent Living and Lifestyle.

Since that time CLA has grown and begun working with people with a disability who are homeless, young people with a disability exiting child safety, young people and their families where young people are at risk of homelessness, young people in schools, young people in the care of child safety who are self-placing, refugees and recently arrived migrants.

CLA currently operates the following programmes:

CLP works with people with an intellectual or cognitive disability to live independently in the community.

Working with young people and their families where young people are at risk of early homelessness.

Community Connections also locates a number of social workers in secondary and primary schools and engages in a range of projects with schools and community e.g. drug and alcohol education program with local high schools.


Working with young people with a cognitive or intellectual disability exiting child safety.

ARROS Transitions operates a number of projects including an employment project and a project supporting young people with a disability share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission.

As well as school-based social workers and a range of workers across CLA who can engage in counselling, CLA has a specialist Arts Therapist and a specialist Mental Health Social Worker.

CLA operates a small long-term housing projects for people with disabilities.

CLA operates two employment training programs for refugees, recent migrants and people with an intellectual disability. One is in Horticulture & Land Management and the other is in Hospitality.

The Community Living Programme is currently in the process of establishing an outreach support programme [BEROS] on the Sunshine Coast to support young people in the care of the Department of Child Safety.

A recent University of Queensland research project interviewed young people involved in BEROS. Young people made comments such as “Because I find it hard to trust people and open up and talk to them.  So, they [BEROS], made an effort to get to know me and everything”.

CLA also operates Support Co-ordination, Specialist Support Co-ordination and Plan Management under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

CLA has a long history of supporting groups of participants in CLA to develop their own responses to their issues. This has led to some groups becoming independent organisations in their own right with an ongoing working relationship with CLA and some to remain at this stage under CLA auspice.

These groups include:

The group developed when 8 young people with a disability, long term unemployed cam together to create employment for themselves. Now they create employment for fifty people and have business arms in hospitality (Espresso Train Café, New Farm Soccer Club) and contracts in land maintenance, Brisbane City Council, MRD, Housing Department, Toombul Shopping Centre.

Originally six young people with an intellectual disability came together to develop their own housing. The group now has twelve members and operates as an independent housing company with CLA support.

A group of people with intellectual disability who are auspiced by CLA and whose purpose is to educate people with a disability about scams.

A group of people with a disability and community members who write and perform a musical each year with the assistance of the local girls high school.

Originally the Wild Women’s Group which was a group of young women with a disability who had been abused, WWILD-SVP is now an independent sexual assault prevention and support service which CLA supported to gain funding and establish itself.

One of CLA’s modes of practice is not only to work with the individual but also to support people to come together around common issues, some of these groups only come together for a short period to achieve an outcome, others continue and may eventually become their own organisation.

Help us to help local communities. Go to the App Stores and search for “My Coffee Counts” and join in today!