Helping our youth grow

BOOST is an Enhanced Youth Refuge Response initiative that offers vulnerable young people and young families an integrated approach and immediate response to their situations and needs, with the aim of diverting them from the homelessness service system or preventing them from entering the system in the first place. BOOST is an integrated program which is located at Hope Street’s youth refuge in Brunswick West and is designed for young people with multiple needs who are disconnected from their community, allied support and mainstream services.

BOOST Specialist Practitioners provide a weekly outpost for young people at the Access Point in Preston run by Haven; Home, Safe. Young people can be referred by the Access Point staff and seen by our BOOST Specialist Practitioners for information and support or referral into the BOOST program for ongoing support.

What does the program offer?

BOOST uses a multidisciplinary team approach to deliver services to young people experiencing homelessness including:

  • intensive case management for up to three months
  • short-term accommodation for up to seven nights in the 'short stay bed'
  • short-term crisis support for up to six weeks
  • housing support
  • linkages to the community
  • role modelling and mentoring
  • referral pathways
  • living skills
  • budgeting assistance
  • advice and information

How can young people enter this program?

Young people must be:

  • 16 - 25 years of age
  • (at risk of) experiencing homelessness and in crisis
  • linked to the North and North-West Metropolitan region of Melbourne

Please contact your nearest access point(s) listed on this page to find out more about entering this program.


During 2019-2020:

  • the program assisted 110 unique individual young people, including 11 accompanying children aged 0-11;
  • 132 clients were newly assisted throughout the year, with 21 carried over from 2018/2019;
  • 126 clients exited the program during the year;
  • the most common age brackets were 20-24 (54%), 18-19 (21%) and 17 years (9%);
  • the most common countries of birth were: Australia (69%), Somalia (8%) and Ethiopia (6%);
  • 8% of clients identified as being either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
  • 31% identified as being of CALD background; and
  • 4% of clients had a disability.

The most common sources of income were:

  • 73% government pension or benefits;
  • 53% Newstart or Youth Allowance;
  • 10% Parenting payment;
  • 10% Disability Support Pension;
  • 7% employee salary; and
  • 20% nil income.

The most common reasons for seeking assistance were:

  • housing affordability stress (68%);
  • housing crisis (12%);
  • relationship/family breakdown (6%); and
  • domestic and family violence (5%).

Learn more about the young people supported, and our impact, from the report below.


  1. A support period is the length of time during which a client receives services from Hope Street. The support period ends when the client stops receiving those services, eg they exit one of our programs. Sometimes a young person/family (at risk of) experiencing homelessness requires more than one support period to ensure that they have every opportunity to secure stable accommodation and remain connected to their families, networks, education and employment.
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