The Hope Street First Response Youth Service is an innovative new model designed to respond to youth homelessness via a place-based approach in the north-western growth corridor of Melbourne. The service consists of two components – a youth refuge providing supported crisis accommodation, and a mobile outreach service available 365 days per year including after hours:
The service is being provided within a purpose-built youth refuge consisting of three separate buildings:
- 8-bed communal living building
- 2-bedroom family unit for young people and their children
- an integrated consulting centre
The design is based on leading specialist youth-focused practice.
What does the refuge offer?
Service delivery is based on the enhanced youth refuge model aiming to improve outcomes for young people as a part of a homelessness prevention approach that includes access to:
- short/longer term accommodation
- emergency relief such as food, material aid or medication
- immediate and short term services for general and specialist health; employment, education or training; legal and financial matters; recreational/social connectivity
Hope Street has launched the new youth refuge in partnership with the state government, philanthropic community, corporate sector, Melton City Council and local community members. This purpose-designed centre provides specialist wrap around support services for young people and young families experiencing homelessness. The First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service works with the emergency accommodation centre, providing at risk young people with stable and safe accommodation and youth-specific supports.
How can young people access the refuge?
Young people must be:
- 16 - 25 years of age
- individuals or part of a couple / family (eg siblings, single parent and child, couple and child)
- (at risk of) experiencing homelessness and in crisis
- linked to the Melton local government area as well as neighbouring LGAs
Whilst construction of our leading purpose designed centre continued in Melton South during 2019-2020, crisis support and accommodation were provided to young people and young families via an interim model. Two private rental properties with capacity to support individual clients and families enabled specialist supported crisis accommodation to be provided for the first time, in the local community. The Youth Refuge:
- Assisted 119 unique individual clients, including five accompanying children aged between zero to five years of age; and
- 136 clients were newly assisted throughout the reporting period with 16 carried over from 2018-2019.
Of the newly-assisted young people supported:
- 44% were male and 56% were female;
- 7% identified as Aboriginal;
- 30% were from CALD backgrounds;
- the most common countries of birth were: Australia (77%), Sudan (4%) and Rwanda (3%);
- 4% had a disability and were in receipt of an NDIS support package;
- the most common age brackets were 20-25 years (68%), 18-19 years (24.4%) and 17 years (3%); and
- the most common reasons for seeking assistance were housing crisis (48%), housing affordability (12%), financial difficulties (8%) and family and domestic violence (7%).
Learn more about the young people supported, and our impact, from the report below.