A joyful Christmas

Over Christmas and the holiday season, Hope Street Youth and Family Services will provide safe accommodation and outreach services for young people and young families who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. Our specialist youth homelessness service will be supporting roughly 80 young people aged 16-25 years old, plus 22 of their dependent children aged 0-8 years old, across its sites in Brunswick, Whittlesea and Melton.

Donna Bennett, Hope Street's CEO, said Christmas can be a particularly challenging time for young people who are experiencing homelessness. "They may be missing family with whom they used to celebrate special occasions, and it's also a time of increased financial stress and pressure, particularly for young people with children who have high hopes of receiving a Christmas gift," said Donna.

Christmas joy

Christmas can be a challenging time for young people who are experiencing homelessness, but Hope Street Youth and Family Services and its corporate partners are doing what they can to spread some festive cheer.

Four corporate partners - Ecodynamics, Mirvac, Woodgrove Shopping Centre and Stramit – have joined with Hope Street for a Christmas appeal that will see over 70 young people receive Christmas gifts, food hampers and gift vouchers. The youth are either accommodated at Hope Street's refuge or residential accommodation sites in Brunswick, Whittlesea or Melton, or are receiving outreach services.

Each Hope Street site has also received a Christmas tree, which the young people have helped to decorate.

Christmas at Hope Street

American writer Marjorie Holmes once said: "at Christmas, all roads lead home." And yet, this Christmas more than 24,000 Victorians, of which a quarter are aged between 12 and 24 years old, will be homeless.

With incidents of youth homelessness expected to spike over the holiday season, Hope Street Youth and Family Services will be 'home' for a number of teenagers and young people.

Donna Bennett, Hope Street's CEO, said the specialist youth homeless service will be bracing for busy times with the last week of December and early January predictably busy periods for the youth homelessness sector.

"For the young people spending the holiday season in a refuge, Christmas can be a particularly challenging time," Ms Bennett said. "It is another reminder that they are not celebrating special occasions with their own family in their own home."

2017 - a year at Hope Street

Donna Bennett, CEO, looks back over a busy and fulfilling year for Hope Street and ahead to another year of achieving the best possible outcomes for young people and making a meaningful difference in their lives.

Dear Friends and Supporters of Hope Street

I would like to thank you for your continued commitment to Hope Street and for your dedicated support of young people and young families at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

2017 Annual General Meeting

On Thursday 30 November 2017, our Annual General Meeting was held at the Hope Street Community Hall in Melton.

The AGM featured Guest Speaker Dr Daniel Ooi, Social Work Program, Victoria University and Hope Street’s young people.

Seasons Greetings

As 2016 draws to close, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year ahead. 

Hope Street Youth and Family Services thanks our partners, supporters and donors who have helped to shape the future of many young people and young families in a most significant way.  Together with our teams, you are the foundation of the successful and sustainable outcomes that meet the needs of young people and their children who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Donna Bennett, CEO

Hope Street Mission - ‘To seek, advocate and facilitate social change to meet the needs of young people and their children. To empower young people to overcome disadvantage and to achieve their hopes and future goals.’

Dear Friends and Supporters of Hope Street,

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for your continued support of Hope Street in 2016. Homelessness continues to be a major social issue - increasingly becoming more visible with more and more young people (as well as young families) finding themselves without a place to call home. With the cost of living sky-rocketing; unaffordability in the rental market; and a weekly Centrelink Youth Allowance payment averaging around $200, a homeless young person lives 57% below the Henderson Poverty Line. Even prior to making contact with a homeless service, a young person experiencing homelessness is likely to have already couch surfed with friends and family and/or been made vulnerable by staying in unsafe and/or unconventional environmental settings. In a society as wealthy as Australia – this is unacceptable.

Woodlea cheque presentation

A fundraising golf event teed off not long ago, raising awareness and funds for homeless young people and young families.

On Monday 10 October, Woodlea held their annual Charity Golf Day at the Latrobe Golf Club, with proceeds going to Hope Street, their nominated charity of choice for the event.  Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett, and Service Development Manager, Bruce Tucker, attended the event’s dinner, at which Ms Bennett conducted a well-received presentation.

On Monday 12 December, a cheque for the amazing amount of $6,237 was presented by Woodlea to Ms Bennett in Melton.

Launch & 2016 AGM Invitation

On Tuesday 29 November, Hope Street launched the architectural plans of its new supported crisis accommodation centre in Melton. There was also a fantastic Talk and Performance by Hope Street’s talented young people, and much more as a part of the 2016 Annual General Meeting.

The event, held at our Hope Street Community Hall in Melton included a number of distinguished guests:

Merry Christmas and Happy New year from Hope Street

From everyone at Hope Street Youth and Family Services, we wish you a very Happy Festive Season and may 2016 bring you Hope and Joy!

Butterfly girl

Gandel Philanthropy's funding grant for Hope to Home in Melton will help homeless young people and their families move into their own place.

Gandel Philanthropy logoHope Street continues to be overwhelmed by the generosity of organisations such as Gandel Philanthropy and Raine and Horne Melton, and with the many individuals' donations to our Melton First Response campaign, either online or through the increasing numbers of butterflies of hope landing at Woodgrove Shopping Centre.

As a partner in our campaign, the Melton Leader has been instrumental in raising the community's awareness of the struggles young people and their families face when trying to get back on their feet in life without having a roof over their heads.

Nicolas and Cath at the Merri Community Health Services dental clinic, Brunswick

RDNS Homeless Person's Program youth nurse, Cath Flanagan, is the Community Oral Health Champion for 2015.

In July this year we featured a story, Nick is all smiles about his future, on Cath helping Nick access dental and other medical care. This Public Oral Health Award from Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) recognises Cath's initiative and dedication to ensuring that Nick and other homeless young people can get free, priority dental care to help them get their lives back on track without also having to deal with severe pain.

Cath has been instrumental in building a bridge of care between the dental service of Merri Community Health Services (MCHS - now known as Merri Health) and the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS).

2014 AGM attendees

It was our pleasure to report on the activities and achievements of our organisation for the 2013/2014 period at our Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 09 December 2014.   The AGM was held in Melton at our Hope Street Community Hall and included several highlights.

2012/2013 has been a tremendously successful year with many achievements and wonderful success stories with young people and young families across all of our programs. Youth Homelessness remains a major social problem requiring individual, community and government action.

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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