Youth violence

Jake* (24 yo) was accommodated at the Hope Street refuge for a very short period of time but was asked to leave due to an altercation with another resident. Jake had no supports and was accommodated in a Coburg motor inn. Jake was a ward of the state for most of his life due to violence from his parents. He spent some time of his late teens and early 20s in Queensland stating that he couch surfed a lot and was in shared accommodation.

Through BOOST intervention, Jake was supported for 2 months:

  • Immediate response as soon as the Young Person was asked to leave the Hope Street refuge. BOOST placed Jake in a hotel for a few nights, ensured he had enough food and clothes.
  • Advocated at the Access Points for HEF to accommodate Jake for a few nights at the motel while some other housing options are sought. BOOST rang around to see what hotel vacancies were available within a reasonable price range.
  • Provided food/meals and referrals to soup vans
  • Co case managed with Youth Reconciliation Program (YRP) and worked very closely (doing many joint visits).
  • Within a couple of weeks both BOOST and YRP felt that there could be either mental health issues or an acquired brain injury due to Jake’s regular memory loss, slow response/processing time when having a conversation, unable to follow through with tasks, going missing, hygiene issues, etc. However, Jake was also very intelligent and loved reading books in which he absorbed that knowledge and was able to reproduce it. As soon as BOOST and YRP discussed their concerns they immediately arranged a secondary consultation with Northern HYDDI and RDNS Nurse Cath to get more information.
  • Accessed a rooming house and sourced 2 weeks rent.
  • Advocated that he remains on priority housing lists at the Access Points.
  • Provided a mobile phone.
  • Had to contact the police and report as a missing person when his belongings were left for a few days at the motel and no contact from Jake.
  • Jake would usually go missing for a few days and felt that he had a good rapport with the BOOST and YRP programs and would always contact either of these workers when he started to feel better.
  • Liaised regularly with John Cade Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as he was admitted after an episode.

Jake was admitted to John Cade hospital after he was found attempting to suicide by police. The hospital staff were able to see that Jake had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and this behaviour of being very itinerant was common for him while he was living in Queensland. Jake had been admitted to hospital regularly while in Queensland and his most recent admission was only weeks before his return to Victoria. With the assistance of the police, the hospital staff contacted Jake’s grandmother in Melbourne. Jake is now residing with his grandmother. BOOST and YRP were unable to contact Jake as he lost his phone and only had a forwarding address of Footscray.

(* Not his real name)

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