City of Whittlesea Youth Mayors visit Hope Street First Response Youth Service Refuge Construction site! 

Hope Street was delighted to welcome to the First Response Youth Service Refuge construction site, Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson who joined the Youth Mayor Zachary Melvaine and Deputy Youth Mayor Kaynat Virk on a sunny Tuesday at the end of April.  Also joining them were their colleagues from the City of Whittlesea council and all were delighted to see the progress of this important community project. 

Hope Street is nation leading in its response to youth homelessness, with this architecturally co-designed new centre taking shape.   Central to the program model is client centred wholistic, strengths based and solutions focused approaches covering 5 key domains of:

  1. health and wellbeing, 
  2. life-skills (such as budgeting, planning, routines, cooking, cleaning, positive problem solving),
  3. sustainable tenancies,
  4. education, employment and training,
  5. community and cultural connection. 

Combined with the provision of safe (including culturally), secure and respectful spaces and interactions where young people and children’s needs are paramount, this program model and approaches to practice give young people a foundation to work towards their goals.   

Donna Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Hope Street was able to discuss the importance of Hope Street’s First Response Youth Service Refuge in responding to the crisis levels of youth homelessness. On a local level, it is estimated there are at least 854 people in the City of Whittlesea who are experiencing homelessness on any day.*  

The First Response Youth Service centre is on track to be completed this year and will provide much needed specialist youth focused wrap around case management support while young people and children are being safely accommodated in the refuge.   

The centre and its people are protected with the presence of a magnificent 500year old Red River Gum tree, which stands as a significant connection to Wurundjeri country and culture. This tree and the centre design are part of Hope Street offering young people and young families are cultural safety in this new location in the City of Whittlesea.  

More updates to come on this nation leading response to youth homelessness centred in the City of Whittlesea!  

Photo features: Youth Mayor of the City of Whittlesea Zachary Melvaine, Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson, Donna Bennett Chief Executive Officer of Hope Street, Deputy Mayor of the City of Whittlesea Kaynat Virk.




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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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