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
Learn more about the young people supported, and our impact, from our latest Annual Report.
In 2021-2022 Lirata Consulting conducted an extensive research evaluation of the First Response Youth Service model. Through interviews, focus groups and surveys, the evaluation gathered input from over 100 stakeholders including young people, staff, managers, service delivery partners, community partners, funders and others. The evaluation also undertook detailed analysis of quantitative and documentary data. Evaluation findings address the model, the refuge facility, service development and implementation processes, client outcomes, and Social Return on Investment (SROI). The final report was released in March 2023 at the Annual Celebration Event: From surviving to thriving.