The Honourable Danny Pearson MP, Minister for Housing (as well as Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Regulatory Reform, and Minister for Government Services), and Steve McGhie MP Melton, Victorian Labor Member for the Melton District, visited the First Response Youth Refuge in Melton on Wednesday 12 October 2022.
Donna Bennett, CEO, and Andrew Nette, Board Chair, were delighted to host the tour. The highlight for all was hearing from young people about their experience of living at Hope Street services and being supported by Hope Street staff. It was clear that the leading purpose-built facility assisted young people on their journey of safety and recovery from trauma and homelessness.
A core part of the offer is the family unit at the refuge. This is where young families can have a place to call home while in crisis.
Tahlia (young resident) told the guests, "If it hadn't been for the Hope Street refuge, I would have been living on the streets. I was couch surfing and had no safe place to sleep. I didn’t know that services such as this existed and Hope Street staff have helped me so much."
By touring the service, Minister Pearson and Steve McGhie learnt more about how Hope Street’s First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service offer an immediate response where outreach case management is provided to young people who are not residing in Hope Street accommodation or any stable accommodation, and assists them at a crisis point where their safety is severely at risk. They also saw the space that offers a stable solution with a wrap-around holistic integrated support to young people and young families, including safe and stable accommodation/refuge for a period ranging from overnight to three months.
With more than 250 young people supported each year by the First Response Youth Service, Minister Pearson and Steve McGhie spoke with young people and were impressed with how the design and service model assisted their therapeutic response and personal development.
Photography Credit: Katie Hooper, Business Development and Partnerships Manager