Outside the First Response Youth Refuge buildings

We are delighted to report that construction of the Hope Street First Response Youth Refuge in Melton is now complete!

Young people are moving into the facility in the weeks ahead. Over the next 12 months, at least 100 young people (16-25 years old) and young families will receive crisis accommodation and support in the refuge, with an additional 100 young people being supported via our mobile outreach service.

The facility incorporates an eight-bedroom communal living building, a two-bedroom family unit and an integrated consulting centre and base from which a mobile outreach service will operate. The site is purpose-designed to enhance specialist youth practice for young people who have experienced trauma, leveraging the interface between physical environment, service delivery and client outcomes.

This moment has been a long time coming, with Hope Street first having commenced work on this project in 2015. We now celebrate this meaningful community achievement along with each of our incredible partners whose generosity and support have made it possible.

The First Response Youth Refuge is a truly collaborative community project. It has been conceptualised, developed and operated by Hope Street Youth and Family Services, purpose-designed by Brand Architects, funded by the State Government, built on land provided by Melton City Council, and supported with cash and in-kind contributions from over 40 businesses and philanthropic partners as well as donations from local community members.

On Thursday 6 August, Hope Street marked the occasion with a virtual launch which took place during National Homelessness Week.  The virtual launch was MC'd by the Chair of the Hope Street Board, Andrew Nette.  Aunty Georgina Nicholson, an Elder of the Wurrundjeri Woi Wurrung People, conducted the Welcome to Country.  Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett, spoke about how the supported crisis accommodation centre has been purposely created to integrate design with youth-focused practice. Guest speakers at the launch were Steve McGhie, the local member for Melton, Alberto Furlan from The Ian Potter Foundation and Nick, Hope Street's Youth Ambassador, who provided an overview of the achievements made over the five years leading to the innovative new centre we have today.

The Making of the First Response Youth Refuge in Melton video covers the journey Hope Street has been on over the past five years to create the youth refuge. Produced by Youthworx, it features interviews with:

  • Hope Street’s CEO, Donna Bennett
  • The Victorian Minister for Housing, the Hon. Richard Wynne
  • The Mayor of Melton, Cr Lara Carli
  • Hope Street’s Youth Ambassador, Nick, and
  • Director of Brand Architects, Laurence Robinson.

It also features photographs by Hilary Faye and Shannyn Higgins, and an original song written for Hope Street by Bettina Spivakovsky from Upfront Events.

This has been an exciting moment for Hope Street. Together we take a step forward in achieving Hope Street's vision for a society in which all young people and young families have a safe place to call home.

See our Photo Album to view the facility.

More information

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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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