It is with great pleasure that our CEO, Donna Bennett, acknowledges our team members’ valued expertise and contributions of their work with Hope Street on this national Employee Appreciation Day. It is an opportunity to pause and celebrate everyone who made Hope Street Youth and Family Services the organisation it is today:
I am always extremely proud and inspired by the achievements of our teams, particularly in the context of such significant social, economic and structural barriers impacting young people and their children. Each year they all respond to the individual needs of young people impacted by homelessness, worsening housing crisis, poverty, family violence to name a few, with a high level of drive and professionalism. I understand and appreciate the tremendous efforts they make as they strive to provide the best possible services, empowering young people to thrive. This is evident in our program data including client outcomes. Our client safe and stable housing outcomes exceed the Victorian and National average. It is also evident in the client stories we publish in our annual reports, on the website, Parity, etc. All this is achieved while our teams strive for the safety of young people and each other as they consistently rise to the twists and turns of life within a pandemic – now in its third year. Congratulations!
I commend Hope Street leadership teams for consistently stepping up to support program teams to succeed in the provision of services and in collaborating as program teams. The leadership they have demonstrated, given the challenges of recruitment in a COVID-19 environment, has been outstanding. I recognise their dedication and commitment to Hope Street enabling the organisation to excel in all we do to be of service to young people and local communities. Also, congratulations!
All staff carry significant responsibilities to fulfil Hope Street’s vision and purpose, embedding Hope Street’s values in all areas of their work. I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude. I thank our team members for the wide range of activities they each do to provide a smooth and seamless operation of programs. This ranges from the behind-the-scenes activities to the day-to-day little things that are not always visible.
I am delighted they are a part of the Hope Street team.
To celebrate our team members’ valued contribution, a lunch will be conducted with our teams at each site next week. This will be an opportunity for our team to take time out of their busy day to enjoy this event together and to reflect on their excellence in work and the sincere appreciation of the Hope Street Directors of the Board, Executive Leadership Team and myself.
The client story below is one of hundreds of examples each year, where our team’s valued work is supporting young people to make a difference in their life:
The First Response Youth Refuge in Melton received a referral from The Salvation Army for a 22-year-old female, who came to Australia as an orphan, with no connections in Victoria, and no proficiency in English. The young woman had not been able to access a General Practitioner or Dentist for many years and was experiencing major tooth pain and fatigue. Staff referred her to the community dentist for a tooth extraction and dental clean and also assisted her to access a General Practitioner for her physical health needs.
As a result of COVID-19 she was unable to attend her English studies, the Case Manager was able to utilise the client brokerage funding included as a part of the program model of the refuge to purchase a laptop. This enabled the young woman to virtually attend English school where she showed a significant improvement. The young woman was also linked to a school for driving lessons where the instructor was linguistically proficient in speaking the same language as her, giving her not only clear driving instructions but a greater sense of community and belonging.
She was able to build connections in the community, she began working at a friend’s café casually and received Centrelink payments for her studies.
While at the refuge she and the Case Manager were able to submit a public/social housing application, they also successfully applied for shared accommodation for a suitable property. She continues to receive outreach support from her Case Manager ensuring she can settle into her new accommodation. The Case Manager successfully accessed Housing Establishment Funding to assist with her rental payments.
Chief Executive Officer