Two young people with lived experience of homelessness who attended the live recording of Q & A at the ABC studios in Melbourne – Hayden and Lathu.

The issue of lack of services forcing young homeless people to move away from their support network was in the spotlight this week when Hayden Champion Silver, 21, asked a panel of politicians why there were limited services in growth corridors.

Hope Street Youth and Family Services, a Melbourne specialist youth homelessness service provider, shined the nation's spotlight onto the growing rates of youth homelessness and the need for more youth homelessness services in growth corridors during an appearance on the ABC's panel discussion program Q & A on 15 July 2019.

Hayden Champion Silver, a 21 year old young person with lived experience of homelessness, posed the following question to the panel during the Melbourne live studio broadcast:

I'm 21 years old and I became homeless in November last year after leaving a traumatic home situation. I'm from Melton in Melbourne's West. There was no crisis accommodation available for me in my area, so I had to move to a youth refuge 40 kilometres away when Hope Street Youth and Family Services found me a place. The experience of having to move caused me more trauma and I wish I could have received the support and accommodation I needed in my home community. My question is: why are youth homelessness services not more available in growth corridors around Australia, despite these areas having some of the highest rates of domestic violence and youth homelessness?
Proposed Whittlesea first response plans

Hope Street, a leading specialist youth homelessness service provider in Victoria, plans to establish a First Response Youth Service in the City of Whittlesea, a growth corridor reporting high rates of youth homelessness.

Hope Street has been providing specialist homelessness housing and support programs in the City of Whittlesea since 2008, and the First Response Youth Service will complete the local place-based offering. There is currently no youth refuge in the area.

Stories of hope

Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Hope Street's tremendous corporate partner in Melton, has continued to show their inspirational support of young people and young families who experience homelessness with their latest project: Stories of Hope.

This special project involves videos of Hope Street's young people sharing their experience of being homeless and about the assistance they received from Hope Street. Together with the Sign of Hope installation at the shopping centre, these stories of hope featured on Woodgrove Shopping Centre's website highlight the strengths of young people.

2018 Art Competition

Hope Street, in partnership with Kirrip House, recently ran a competition to find a piece of artwork that will welcome young people into the Hope Street Community Hall in Melton.

The competition was an opportunity for young artists of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage who were 13 to 25 years old and living in the Melton local government area, to showcase their incredible artwork during NAIDOC Week (08 - 15 July).

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition - the decision was difficult as the standard of artwork was very high.

And the winners are...

Builder appointment

The Hope Street First Response Youth Service in Melton (Youth Refuge) has reached a major milestone that will see the project move to its next phase of becoming a reality for young people and their children.

The State Government is a key contributor of capital funding for this project and Hope Street is pleased to announce Shee Oak Ridge Pty Ltd as the appointed builder for this initiative.

Fundraising dinner

On 07 July 2017, a special dinner was held to raise funds towards the building and construction of the Hope Street First Response Youth Service in Melton.

Thank you to all our event attendees who enjoyed a fun, construction-themed night with delicious food and great entertainment at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins.  We also acknowledge the event sponsors who provided the many great prizes won at our auction, raffle and silent auction, and our official event photographer, Zheljana Peric, who took the fantastic photos that can be seen in our photo album.

Keys to home

Mandy Baxter, Service Development Manager at Hope Street, writes about the impact of youth homelessness in Melton and the Hope to Home project in Parity magazine's June 2015 issue.

As a prosperous rental market surges, the increase of a casualised labour market continues, the incidence of family violence rises and the cost of living catapults, it is the marginalised that continue to be shut out – Australia’s young and homeless – and particularly those in the growth corridors of Melbourne like Melton.

Without innovative solutions that offer long-term stability and the opportunity to create interdependence away from homelessness, the cycle of transience and homelessness is likely to not only continue and increase but, alarmingly for young people, will result in long term chronic homelessness.

All smiles for the future

Nick, a former Hope Street young person, can smile again, thanks to a wonderful nurse and free dental care program for homeless people.

Health issues have a pervasive detrimental influence on many aspects of a young person’s existence, and when that young person is also homeless or at risk of being homeless they face the additional barrier of limited or no access to adequate health care.

The Moreland Leader newspaper has a feature article on how Hope Street's RDNS nurse, Cath Flanagan, helped Nick access dental and other medical care which is now enabling him to get his studies, work and family life back on track, without the debilitating pain. Check out the article and video below which features Nick, Cath and Melinda (Senior Dentist at Merri Community Health Services [now known as Merri Health]):

Please join us in the launch of the Hope Street evaluation of the BOOST Program.

The Program works with young people entering the homelessness service system who have complex needs, dual needs, and/or challenging behaviour(s).  Intervention is focused on addressing young people’s immediate needs as well as linking young people to vital support services. 

When: Monday 05 August 2013; 10:30am - 12:30pm
Where: Harry Atkinson Centre
Coburg Lake Reserve Off Murray Road, Coburg North, Victoria
RSVP: Wednesday 31 July 2013
Contact Fiona Rigney on or (03) 8311 9610

Report's cover pageAs Independent Project Leader, Professor Peter Shergold AC was asked by the Minister for Community Services, the Hon. Mary Wooldridge MP to oversight a consultation on how best to improve the effectiveness and ensure the sustainability of the state’s community services system.

Professor Shergold launched a consultation process in February 2013 and continues to hold structured conversations with a range of focus groups. 

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Hope to Home in Whittlesea

FEATURED PILOT PROGRAM: Hope to Home in Whittlesea

Many young people face obstacles when trying to secure stable accommodation due to no rental history, lack of affordable housing, and no employment to sustain rental leases.  The Hope to Home in Whittlesea pilot program will address these issues by:

  • Facilitating the transition of up to 30 young people (and their children) from the Hope Street in Whittlesea program or Whittlesea Housing into 1 and 2 bedroom units
  • Providing case management once they secure private rental of these units
  • Helping these young people maintain their tenancy, employment, education and training, and community connections
  • Engaging the support of community stakeholders including local businesses to address barriers contributing to youth homelessness

Please contact us if you would like to become a partner and support at risk young people and young families.

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