Family of hands.  Image courtesy

Jane (19 yo) and Joe* (22 yo) are a young couple with an 18 month old daughter. They have been experiencing homelessness for about 6 months. They were subletting a private rental property with Joe's brother however they could not afford to pay the rent when Joe lost his job. He has a CBO that he needs to complete which impacts on his ability maintain and gain employment. They moved in with Joe’s father where they could only stay for 1.5 months. Due to violence perpetrated by Joe’s brother towards both Joe and Jane they had to move out. They were accommodated for a week in a motel and then referred to a rooming house.

Other issues included Storage debt, regular marijuana use, inability to get private rental (applied for 15 properties a week without success), budgeting issues.

Through BOOST intervention, the young family were supported for 5 weeks:

  • Couple walked in to NEHS while BOOST co-located there. They got an immediate response from BOOST that day and an assessment and case plan were completed.
  • BOOST completed and submitted a Housing application ‘homeless with support’ on behalf of the clients and investigated their eligibility.
  • Completed and submitted Aboriginal Housing Application. This took some work as BOOST needed to support Jane in getting all her ‘proof of aboriginality’ information together.
  • Assisted with Storage debt by negotiating a payment plan with Storage Company and providing some food vouchers.
  • Provided information about accessing private rental and financial assistance that they could be entitled too. This included transport to view private rental properties on a Saturday which is possible with the flexible hours of operation as a part of the BOOST model.
  • Budgeting assistance.
  • Safety planning/risk assessment for remaining at Joe’s dad’s house.
  • Liaised with NEHS to advocate for any emergency vacancies and accessed NEHS HEF to fund emergency accommodation such as hotels and a rooming house.
  • Identified the couple’s strengths which included their protective parenting and their own supportive relationship.
  • Provided employment details for Joe.

Referral was made to Hope Street Youth and Family Services Young Family Unit. The referral was a collaborative referral by BOOST and NEHS. With the advocacy of BOOST, NEHS identified that the couple were most suited and prioritised for the vacancy. The couple were accepted for the Young Family Unit vacancy at Hope Street which will be accompanied with ongoing support to assist the couple to access longer term options. They will be linked in with NORTHERN HYDDI to assist with some substance abuse support.

(* Not their real names)

Image source: Hands Together by Vera Kratochvil

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