Two Illawarra organisations have teamed up to give a bit more hope to the region’s homeless youth.
The Housing Trust and Southern Youth and Family Services (SYFS) joined forces in an effort to help young people break the cycle of chronic homelessness.
The partnership was sealed on Wednesday, April 5 to mark Youth Homelessness Matters Day.
The Housing Trust, the Illawarra’s largest community housing provider, and SYFS, the largest specialist youth and family service in this region, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help young people in the community.
This partnership will assist young people to move from specialist homelessness services to long-term accommodation.
Housing Trust acting CEO Lindsay Kelly, said the new partnership enhances the current arrangements and aims to help vulnerable young people in the Illawarra.
‘’We are excited to be working in partnership with SYFS, providing clear pathways for young people to supported and independent housing and giving them the rental experience they need to move into the private market,’’ Ms Kelly said.
‘’Our aim is to provide more housing opportunities for young people so that they can get the skills and support necessary to increase their ability to access education, training and employment.
‘’This is particularly important given that 26,000 homeless Australians are aged between 12-25, and that most of these young people are homeless as they are escaping conflict and violence.
‘’There is a real need to work together to help our vulnerable youth.’’
SYFS CEO Narelle Clay totally agrees, adding the organisation supports and assists vulnerable, disadvantaged and homeless young people and those at risk of disadvantage and homelessness and their families and other disadvantaged adults and families.
‘’Young people are one of the most disadvantaged groups in our community in terms of gaining access to secure and affordable housing,’’ Ms Clay said.
‘’Low income levels, high youth unemployment, lack of affordable housing are key issues facing vulnerable young people – so it is extremely positive to be able to expand the housing and support opportunities for these young people.’’