Lily D’Ambrosio MP local state member visits the City of Whittlesea First Response Youth Refuge build site again.  

It’s been just over a year since Lily D’Ambrosio joined the special sod turning event in April 2023 followed by a Smoking Ceremony by Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin.  The site of the new centre is on Wurundjeri land in the heart of the City of Whittlesea.  The area is well known for its old river red gums, and it is such a privilege that there is a 400-600 year old river red gum overlooking the new centre and all who enter.   

In her role as the local member, Lily has been a strong advocate for the centre recognising the need for the local community to have essential services for young people and young families who need safe and specialist assistance, when most in need and vulnerable.  Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett has seen over her long history working in the Homelessness Sector thousands of young people benefit from these types of specialist services, “Keeping young people in their local community is imperative as it aids in reducing the traumatic impact of being homeless through young people maintaining their familiarity and presence in the area, as well as contact with family and friends,  and school and or employment.”    

Hope Street was successful in attaining a Victorian Government Big Build Youth Housing Capital Grant for the project.  Donna stated “It was a delight to show Lily D’Ambrosio around the site, where it is taking shape with the frames constructed for what will soon become the next First Response Youth Service Centre. This location will provide much needed emergency support and accommodation to 100 young people and young families each year, from the local community and neighbouring suburbs as they access this leading purpose designed high quality First Response Youth Service.” 

Donna and Lily were able to discuss the importance of therapeutically designed live-in centres for young people with a history of homelessness and trauma. This nation leading First Response Youth Service centre and program model of service delivery, will provide individualised planned support with each young person and young family, to their needs as they identify, determine and navigate their way forward to receiving the care they require and a pathway out of homelessness and into sustainable housing.  


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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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