The Hope Street First Response Youth Service in Melton (Youth Refuge) is a new, innovative program recently funded by the State Government in response to youth homelessness in the growth corridor of the City of Melton.
The service will be provided within a purpose-built centre consisting of three separate buildings:
- 8-bed communal living building
- 2-bedroom unit for young people and their children/families
- administration building
The design is based on leading specialist youth-focused practice.
What does the program 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 by:
- diverting young people from the service system where possible
- making appropriate referrals to specialist support
- responding to complex issues and needs, assisting with the transition to new living arrangements
- linking young people with supports in their local communities
Hope Street has been working closely with various stakeholders in the Melton local government area to establish the Youth Refuge along with specialist wrap around support services for young people experiencing homelessness. The Hope Street First Response Youth Mobile Outreach Service in Melton will work with the emergency accommodation centre, providing at risk young people with stable and safe accommodation and youth-specific supports.
How can young people enter this program?
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)
- homeless or at risk of being homeless and in crisis
- linked to the Melton local government area
Construction of the new facility is currently under way. Updates on the Hope Street First Response Youth Service in Melton project, as each milestone is achieved, will be provided in our Featured Stories section.
In the meantime, the First Response Youth Refuge Interim Model went live from Tuesday 12 March 2019. Two private rental properties have been secured to provide crisis accommodation and 24/7 onsite support until the Youth Refuge building is completed. Please contact us for further information.
Between 12 March – 30 June 2019, or 111 days of operation, the Youth Refuge Interim Model:
- Assisted 48 young people aged 16-25 years old, including four dependent children; and
- Provided 147 nights of accommodation, with the average length of accommodation being 27 nights per client.
Of the 48 young people assisted:
- 19 were male and 29 were female;
- The most common country of birth was Australia (29 young people), followed by Sudan (five young people), Kenya (two young people) and Thailand (two young people);
- Two identified as being of Aboriginal background;
- The most common age groups were 21-25 years old (46%), followed by 18-20 years old (38% and 15-17 years old (15%);
- 46% reported that they had a diagnosed mental health condition;
- Five family groups were supported – one couple, and four young people with dependent children;
- The main reasons for seeking support were a housing crisis (71%), domestic and family violence (10%) and relationship or family breakdown (4%);
- The most common sources of income when presenting to the service were:
- Youth Allowance (38%);
- New Start allowance (15%); and
- Parenting payment (19%).
Learn more about the young people supported, and our impact, from the report below.