The Hope Street First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service, a youth homelessness service that operates in the Melton area, ran an Olympic Relay Medley on Thursday 7 November to raise awareness and support for local youth homelessness.
The event, called Help Us Help Them, took place at Melton Waves where service providers, government, businesses and organisations from the Melton community were invited to compete as a team in the fun Olympics, including three events:
- A 5km treadmill running race;
- An obstacle course consisting of several mixed tasks including an egg and spoon race, a three-legged race, a sleeping bag/hessian sack race and a hands-free doughnut eating race; and
- A 2 x 50 metre swimming race in the indoor pool.
Team members decided as a group which member competed in which event, passing the baton to one another between events. An Olympics Cup was awarded to the winning team, Kirrip House, during a finale presentation.
Hope Street is also asking community members and local businesses to consider donating items needed by young people who are experiencing homelessness in the Melton area and surrounds, including:
- Warm jackets;
- Toiletries such as soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner and moisturiser for young people to use in youth refuges or whilst couch surfing at friends’ houses;
- Myki cards to allow young people to access public transport; and
- Kmart vouchers for young people to purchase clothing;
Tegan Tregea, Team Leader of the First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service, said the event aimed to increase community awareness about youth homelessness. "We want to raise awareness that youth homelessness is happening in our community, and we want to break-down negative stereotypes that exist about young people who are homeless. There are 6000 young people experiencing homelessness on any given night around Melbourne, and the leading causes for their homelessness are family and domestic violence and the housing crisis that makes housing less affordable than ever before," she said.
The First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service, launched in June 2018, has provided crisis accommodation, material aid and case management to over 200 young people aged 16-25 years old who are experiencing homelessness in the Melton area. The program is supported by a major grant from The Ian Potter Foundation.
Interview and photograph opportunities
Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett; and Hope Street Youth Ambassadors (young people with lived experience of homelessness) are available for interview. High resolution images are also available. For media queries, please contact: Olivia Myeza, Business Development and Partnerships Manager, or 0401 473 923.