Youth Housing and Homelessness Support Services June 2012
Under the Youth Housing and Homelessness Services reform, the preferred providers for the seven new youth homelessness services were announced in December 2011. Contract negotiations between the organisations and the Community Services Directorate (the Directorate) were finalised in April 2012. Funding for the new services has commenced and after a period of establishment (staff recruitment, setting up accommodation etc.) each service is currently operational and working with young people.
Transition planning for young people in current accommodation services continues. The Directorate is committed to working in partnership with the community sector to ensure that no young person enters into homelessness as a result of the changes that are happening. Services who have concerns or questions regarding transitions should contact Social Housing and Homelessness Services.
Services provided through the new model:
The following services provide options to appropriately support the different circumstances of young people experiencing homelessness. Upon availability, young people are able to enter any service at any time, if the service is suitable for their needs. le, young people can be accommodated through the Friendly Landlord Service, or Young Parent's Program, without being accommodated through the Youth Emergency Accommodation Network first.
Youth Emergency Accommodation Network (YEAN): Operated by Salvation Army in partnership with Canberra Youth Residential Service (formally Canberra Youth Refuge), the YEAN is a crisis accommodation service. There will be four sites around Canberra, each offering a cluster of three houses. The first cluster, in Belconnen, is now open and the second cluster is scheduled to be opened in mid 2012. The number of crisis accommodation beds will be maintained through Oasis and Canberra Youth Residential Service continuing to operate until all four clusters are online. The cluster model provides greater flexibility in the delivery of emergency accommodation for young people. This flexibility allows the service to respond to the demands for service at any point in time. For example the YEAN has the capacity to accommodate only young women in certain properties, if appropriate at that time. The service also has capacity to accommodate couples and sibling groups.
Friendly Landlord Service (FLS): Operated by Barnardos, the FLS manages a number of properties ranging between one (1) and three (3) bedrooms. Depending on their personal circumstances, young people are able to nominate others with whom they would like to share living arrangements. This allows for the accommodation of couples, siblings and friends to assist in the development of harmonious shared living environments. The FLS will also work with private market landlords to expand the availability of private rental housing options for young people.
Youth ldentified Accommodation and Support Program (YlASP): Also operated by Barnardos, the YlASP is available to assist young people to continue residing with a support family of their choice. The YlASP engages young people and their support families in the process of developing an accommodation arrangement that includes rent payable and agreement to respect the needs and interests of all parties.
Young Parents Program (YPP): Operated by St Vincent De Paul, the YPP offers accommodation to young families. During their time in the program, the YPP works with young people to find long term, sustainable accommodation that meets the needs of their family. Outreach support is also available to young families. YPP facilitates regular group programs for young parents, designed to increase skills and confidence. 'Once Upon a Rhyme', a language development program, commenced in May.
Non Accommodation Services
The following services are available to support young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. These services can also work alongside the accommodation services to help build skills in young people that will prevent a return to the cycle of homelessness.
Family Tree House: Operated by Conflict Resolution Service (CRS), Family Tree House is an early intervention outreach based service which meets with young people and their support families to help resolve conflict. Family Tree House engages intensively with young people, and their families, to provide conflict resolution during, and following, initial crisis situations. This involves family conferencing, mediation and safety planning for future incidents of crisis. Where family conflict cannot be resolved, Family Tree House works with identified natural supports to ensure both the young person and the friends/family accommodating them receive appropriate support. Family Tree House is also able to work one on one with young people, to provide conflict coaching and tips on avoiding arguments.
CRS recently launched its lnaugural Youth Mediation Training Scholarship, which offers mediation training for young people to become nationally accredited mediators, followed by employment by CRS as a Panel Mediator. Four (4) young people successfully completed the Nationally Accredited Mediation Training. The four graduates will undertake the mediation mentoring program in the coming months.
Youth Housing Support Service (YHSS): Operated by CatholicCare, the YHSS assists young people to understand their rights and responsibilities where they live, as well as provide support to sustain their tenancy. The YHSS helps young people resolve difficulties with their landlord, assists them to meet the requirements of their tenancy and ensures they have access to other services, such as financial counselling, advice and skill development programs. The YHSS also helps young people who are experiencing homelessness find suitable accommodation to suit their needs.
Take Hold: Operated by the Ted Noffs Foundation, Take Hold runs life skills development programs and assists in providing mentoring relationships for young people. Training courses are developed in response to needs identified by young people and delivered flexibly and in the community. Take Hold coordinates an annual social enterprise seed funding program to assist young people, and youth homelessness services, in establishing micro businesses/programs that aim to develop work skills and employment opportunities for young people.
Existing accommodation options for young people:
Our Place: Operated by Barnardos and Anglicare, Our Place provides medium term supported accommodation to young people, with or without children, who are either studying, or employed. Our Place offers support to further young people's careers and gain independence, with a goal to transition into affordable, private accommodation. Referrals for Our Place can be made through First Point.
Ainslie Village: Ainslie Village provides community housing to over 170 people for single people over the age of 18 years on low to moderate incomes with a housing need. Argyle Community Housing, a not-for- profit community housing organisation, has recently been chosen through an open tender process as the successful Tenderer to provide tenancy management services for Ainslie Village. The Service supports residents to access health and well being services, while promoting social inclusion within a safe and stimulating environment.
Havelock House: Operated by Havelock Housing Association (HHA), Havelock House is also a not-for- profit community housing organisation that provides shared accommodation for single people over the age of 18 years on a low to moderate income. Particular target groups of Havelock House include refugees, students, women escaping domestic violence and people facing mental health issues. Referrals for Havelock House can be made through the Social Housing Register.
As part of its communication strategy, the Directorate provides regular updates to the sector and other relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the new service delivery model. Organisations are also encouraged to contact the Directorate to discuss any concerns they may have.
The Directorate has facilitated two transition planning meetings over February and March 2012. The forums were represented by all of the new youth housing and homelessness providers, as well as the transitioning services. The forums provided a good opportunity to share information about each new service, as well as discuss practical issues around transitioning young people smoothly into appropriate supports available through the new service delivery model.
An information session was held in mid March 2012, at which each new service provider was given an opportunity to discuss their youth homelessness programs to the community sector. This session was well attended by staff from both Community and Government Child, Youth and Family Support services.
ln addition, the Directorate will continue to disseminate information though The Youth Coalition of the ACT,
the Youth Homelessness Forum and Joint Pathways.
- All enquiries about accommodation and support in the ACT are to continue to be directed to First Point on 1800 176 468.
- For further information about support services available to young people in the ACT, enquiries can be made to the Youth Support Line on 6162 4718.
- All enquiries about support available for families in the ACT are to continue to be directed to Parentline on 6287 3833.
For any enquiries for Social Housing and Homelessness Services, please contact:
Sarah Watson Assistant Manager
Social Housing and Homelessness Services
Phone: 6205 7974
Alice Tibbitts Senior Manager
Social Housing and Homelessness Services
Phone: 6207 5668