We’re being told that the safest place to be right now is home. But what does this mean for the more than 6000 young people who are experiencing homelessness in Victoria? And for the many more for whom home is not a safe place to be? How do you self-isolate and wash your hands regularly if you’re couch surfing in an over-crowded share-house or motel, sleeping in your car, or taking shelter on the streets?
Dear Friends of Hope Street,
Hope Street is currently home to 30 young people who are experiencing homelessness. They are aged between 16 and 25 years old, most of them have a childhood history of family violence, trauma and/or neglect, and several of them have young children who are also staying with us.
They are scared right now. Many of them have existing struggles with anxiety and depression that are heightened now. Many have lost their casual jobs this week. They are all wondering what will happen to them and their children if they contract Coronavirus. They are worried about how they will survive 'lock down' in a youth refuge or temporary housing.
As an essential service, Hope Street's doors remain open during the lock-down, and our teams are there for young people who are experiencing homelessness. Our incredible front-line residential support workers, case workers and counsellors continue their 24/7 services in refuges and supported transitional housing units across our sites in Melton, Thomastown and Brunswick.
Some of you have asked us how you can help. It’s incredible to know that in these challenging times, you are thinking not just of your family and your businesses, but also of those who are most vulnerable in our society.
Young people who are experiencing homelessness need your support more than ever before. If you’re able to give a donation, of any size, it will help us to provide the following to young people and young families who don’t have a safe place to call home:
- Safe emergency accommodation
- Food vouchers
- Clothing vouchers
- Essential self-care items such as toiletries, towels, soap and hand sanitiser
- Arts, crafts, sports and other activities to help young people and children pass the time in self-isolation
Thank you for asking how you can help. Thank you for being there for young people and young families who are experiencing homelessness. They need your support now more than ever before.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
On behalf of the Hope Street team, I wish you good health for the road ahead. We are all in this together, and together we will get through it.
Chief Executive Officer
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Photos Credit: Hilary Faye.