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Young people deserve more. Young people deserve hope. Young people deserve support. Without judgement, full stop.

Every. Single. Day. young people are crashing on friends’ couches, sleeping in their cars or finding shelter on the streets because they have no where else to go. We know that in Australia, 2 out of 5 people experiencing homelessness are under 25.

Tonight, that will be 28,000 young people.

Closer to home, 25% of the young people we support in Melbourne’s North are living in crisis without stable accommodation, every single day. They face multiple and complex barriers and are locked out of the labor market, out of the private rental market, often placed in the too hard basket.

Today is Youth Homelessness Matters Day and it’s time to call it out. Young people deserve more.

Young people deserve hope. Young people deserve support. Without judgement, full stop.

In conjunction with greater housing stock and access to social housing and a fair private rental system, we need a whole-of-government approach that tackles mental health, unemployment, family violence, education. We need a national plan to end youth homelessness that sees the whole young person. If our politicians and policy makers don’t see a moral reason to act, at least see the economic reason. Investing in young people makes economic sense. We know that every dollar the government funds for employment and social supports, we return $10 to the economy.

Prevention and early intervention is key – it’s time for change!

To all the young people out there in crisis – We see you. We hear you. We won’t judge you.

An open message from our CEO, Ben Vasiliou.

 

In the lead up to the Federal Election, the National Youth Coalition for Housing are asking both major parties for a plan to end youth homelessness. Australia needs a national plan to end youth homelessness. Show your support for young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness and take action: http://chng.it/Rb62dkGX9q

 

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Youth Projects has recently been appointed as one of three Local Partner Organisations for the Victorian Council of Social Services' Jobs Victoria Community Traineeship Pilot Program in Hume city in 2019.

Youth Projects has recently been appointed as one of three Local Partner Organisations for the Victorian Council of Social ServicesJobs Victoria Community Traineeship Pilot Program in Hume city in 2019.

Jobs Victoria – through the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources – has provided funding to Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and the Future Services Institute (FSSI) to deliver a Community Traineeship Pilot Program for young Victorian job seekers; addressing youth unemployment and increased workforce demand in the community services industry.

Victoria is currently experiencing disproportionately high rates of youth unemployment in some parts of the state, including Melbourne (North West), Melbourne (South East) and Bendigo. At the same time, the Victorian community services industry is expanding rapidly with predictions indicating the health and social assistance industry will be the fastest-growing industry in 2017-2022 – contributing approximately 70,000 new jobs to the Victorian economy.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our young people and aligns seamlessly to Youth Projects creating jobs in skill shortage areas, whilst acknowledging that vulnerable young people need more help than simply being placed into jobs.

Youth Projects will provide holistic, wrap around support to 75 young people and employers residing in the Hume region over the next 2 years with our service centre co-located at the Hume Whittlesea LLEN in Broadmeadows.

These traineeships will span across the community services sector and will be designed in a way that builds capacity in the community services industry and develop talent within organisations.

Youth Projects will work alongside RMIT to deliver the traineeships and MAS National who will be completing the traineeship contracts as an Australian Apprenticeships Services Network provider.

This initiative will pave new pathways for young people, build the future workforce we need in the community services industry and change the lives of young people in the city of Hume.

If you would like to apply for a traineeship or be an employer host, please contact us.

 

For more information on the Community Traineeship Pilot Program visit the VCOSS website.

Our impact is direct, our impact is strong. 

READ HERE – Impact Report 2017.18 

In a Youth Projects first, we are proud to share our organisation’s impact through a comprehensive and informative report. Our fight for social justice continues with a focus on early intervention and prevention whilst continuing to support adults sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness. Our clients face severe and complex barriers and fall through the cracks of the system. Our connected and holistic model of care delivers life changing, wrap around support that leads to pathways out of homelessness and raises the aspirations of young people

 

Youth Projects welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement to hold a Royal Commission into Mental Health.

Over 55% of young people aged 15 – 21 accessing Youth Projects services have a mental health condition that can be easily treated with early intervention and support. Silos in funding and service delivery are weakening the overall effectiveness of mental health support in its current state.

Patchy funding, arcane eligibility criteria and wait lists are making an already tumultuous time even more difficult for people experiencing a serious mental health condition and few services in Victoria manage to deliver comprehensive and timely support.

A whole of government, whole of community approach is what Victoria needs. We must understand that;

  • Young people need more tailored, youth-specific services that will help destigmatise help seeking behaviour and improve engagement into treatment.
  • Mental health first aid needs to be introduced as a valued component of education for primary and secondary schools in Victoria.
  • Young people with high risk factors for mental illness are often early school leavers who need community-based, youth-friendly access to care.
  • Homelessness is a risk factor for developing mental illness and mental illness is a risk factor for becoming homeless.
  • Services should be better co-ordinated and genuine wrap-around models of care to effectively address co-occurring problems for young people – those such as substance misuse, unemployment, exposure to family violence, insecure housing and educational advancement.
  • Parents, friends, and those in the frontline such as GPs feel frustrated, unsupported and lost in a system of confusing cross referral and inaction in times of mental health crisis
  • Improved resources for prevention and crisis support.
  • Prevention and crisis support services need to be complimentary, not competitive for funding.

Reducing proven risk factors such as social isolation, chronic illness, homelessness and poverty are elements of the systemic change needed to improve mental health in our community. Prevention and crisis support services need to be complimentary, not competitive for funding.

Youth Projects is calling for bipartisan support to address an issue that affects all Victorians, directly or indirectly, every day of the year. Mental health counselling is not an expense; it is a long-term investment in community wellbeing.

Talk to your local Member of Parliament, or running candidates, in the lead up to this year’s state election.

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is funding new services at local youth services hub ‘EDGE’ to give young people in the City of Whittlesea better access to mental health, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) support services.

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is funding new services at local youth services hub ‘EDGE’ to give young people in the City of Whittlesea better access to mental health, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) support services.

The 12-month program will boost the availability of mental health and AOD services for young people aged 12-25. Youth Projects and headspace Greensborough will deliver the services through the hub at ‘EDGE’ Whittlesea Youth Services, at Westfield Plenty Valley, Mill Park.

This is great news for Youth Projects as we launch YNOT 2.0 in the City of Whittlesea in response to the challenges we’ve identified in the region that young people are facing. These young people face higher reported levels of psychological distress, high rates of family violence and early disengagement from school, but we are ready to help them tackle these challenges and get them back on track.

YNOT 2.0 will provide screening, assessment, treatment and referral options for local young people with challenges related to substance use at EDGE (Westfield Plenty Valley), Mill Park.

To view the media release, please click here.

A collective response to drug overdose remembrance, advocacy and action at Youth Projects.

IOAD 2018 Flyer

In response to Victoria’s escalating drug overdose burden, Youth Projects are marking International Overdose Awareness Day 2018 at Hosier Lane on Friday 31 August. Youth Projects will be hosting a free community event to commemorate lives lost to overdose, empower community members with the capacity to respond to overdose and to promote the awareness and advocacy necessary to enact change.

Starting at 11:30 am, a mural and commemorative space will be carved out on Hosier Lane which the public are invited to attach messages of remembrance and celebration of lives lost. The opportunity will exist for further conservation and referral to appropriate counselling services for people who experience strong feelings and/or memories as a result of the remembrance ceremony.

Following speeches from guest speakers, Youth Projects will be hosting a group overdose response (naloxone) training session with those present being invited to partake in the 15-minute training session, where they will be taught how to effectively identify and respond to opioid overdose. The first 30 participants will receive a free naloxone kit.

Recognizing that overdose is a community issue that demands a collective response, we encourage attendance by all members of the community. Through collaborative action can we begin to inspire and facilitate more compassionate and effective means of addressing drug overdose.

A complimentary lunch will be provided.

 

If you have any queries, please contact Tristan Duncan, Overdose Response Project Officer at the Living Room on 03 99452100.

We're reaching out to youth in Melbourne's outer north with a new program called YHOP and its on the move too.

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Youth Projects is delivering the new Youth Services Assertive Outreach Service for Hume City Council called Youth in Hume Outreach Program or “YHOP”.

Our Y-HOP team will be fully mobile and highly visible Campervan fitted out with all the mod-cons to engage with young people. We will have a regular presence at local youth hot spots increasing engagement and encouraging young people to find out how they can connect with new avenues to gain skills, jobs, counselling and support.

The Y-HOP team will initially target the following local areas and we will added other locations as we go:

  • Broadmeadows Shopping Centre
  • Broadmeadows Global Learning Centre
  • Broadmeadows Train Station
  • Sunbury Bus Stop
  • Sunbury Square
  • Craigieburn – Highlands shopping centre
  • Craigieburn Skate Park
  • Craigieburn Train Station
  • Roxburgh Park Train Station
  • Jacana Skate Park

Find out more here https://youthprojects.org.au/programs/y-hop/

Good 2 Go's big facelift

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Our new look at Good 2 Go showcases the work we do as a social enterprise sending the message that your coffee matters. Over a period of just 48 hours, the team at Burst Graphics completed this all important make over, worth about $5,000, all pro bono.

Good 2 Go began as a trial project in 2013 and continues to grow and develop every year. And according to customer reviews “its so good its great”!

With a new menu, lounge and the only genuine opportunity shop in the heart of the city, Good 2 Go delivers on social impact. Our young trainees learn formal skills and accredited training, build their work experience, and most of all, feel a new sense of confidence and self worth. Good 2 Go is just one of our programs that helps people at risk of homelessness get a foothold in the job market. Because early poverty risks life long poverty, our programs intervene as early as possible to help open up new opportunities for disadvantaged youth to reach their potential.

And we also make great coffee.

Good 2 Go is at 7 Hosier Lane Melbourne, Australia’s premier street art precinct. It’s just a block from from Flinders St station. Open 800 am to 3 pm weekdays, you can also buy clothing, books, shoes and all sorts of unique second hand treasures.

We've already helped 501 at risk and homeless youth find new skills, jobs and purpose. And that number keeps rising. That's some serious impact.

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We’re helping to make inroads on the high rate of youth unemployment in one of the state’s worst hit areas.

Outer suburbs like those reaching from Broadmeadows out to Craigieburn and Sunbury have a “silent epidemic” of young people facing long term unemployment. The youth unemployment rate is double and triple the rate for adults and for those living in inner city areas.

The lack of jobs, transport, and opportunities to get a start in the work force are among well know factors holding back the life chances of teens after leaving school, yet nothing much seems to change. And long term poverty and unemployment are huge risk factors for homelessness.

That’s where our team are fighting back and driving real change. Our Glenroy Youth Space in Hartington St is the centre of our operations that also includes teams in Sunbury and Craigieburn too.

We know young people leave school too early in this region, coming from households where there is already poverty, and no one who is currently in employment. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you care enough to step in and lend a hand.

Working with young people and local employers in a very personalised way is the key.

“Job opportunities don’t just fall from the sky” says Executive Manager at Youth Projects, Wendy Caspar.

“We get out of the office, into the neighbourhoods, the small and medium employers and discover the hidden job opportunities, often creating a job vacancy because employers open up to us about the needs they have and we can help solve skill shortages and employment needs.”

“As a youth designed, youth specific service young people feel a lot more at ease, respected and confident in laying out a plan for the future that is in their hands,” Wendy says.

“It’s a very tough job market for young people who are very discouraged by the stigma they feel and the need for experience that no one will actually give them.”

“What we know is that by really listening, by building up self confidence, the skills for jobs in demand, and overcoming fear and other barriers they may have we can make a huge impact on the future lives of hundreds of young people every year. It’s life changing because without our help there is such a high probability so many young people will remain jobless, living in poverty and really excluded from the community.”

Intervening early is vital because every step is harder the longer people remain unemployed and outcast. For now we’ll continue to help young people find a real start in life so they can go on to reach their potential.

We're partnering with Heinz Australia to bring comfort food and much needed funds for the winter.

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Homelessness has increased in inner Melbourne by 28% and people living in rooming houses, overcrowded short term accommodation and rough sleeping are doing so hard yards.

Our after hours night nursing team have been distributing soup and beanies, while a special Heinz Food Truck will be in Federation Square on Thursdays serving soup with all funds going back to our services.

Did you know research by the City of Melbourne shows

  • 7 percent of adult residents in the CoM worried about whether their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
  • A quarter  of these respondents reported that they felt concern about putting enough food on the table on a monthly basis.
  • Six percent reported that they or other adults in the household cut the size of their meals or skip meals as a way of coping with not having enough money for food. Twenty nine percent of these respondents reported that this was happening on a monthly basis.

For individuals and families, homelessness makes it difficult to engage in education and training and can leave people vulnerable to violence, victimisation, long term unemployment and chronic ill-health. Some health problems are a consequence (but can also be a cause) of homelessness, including poor nutrition, poor dental health, substance misuse, and mental health problems.

Our services help prevent people at risk of homelessness falling further into poverty with specialist support to go back to education, learn new skills, find a job, access free medical care, mental health counselling and genuinely feel a valued part of our community.

You can donate funds to support people who are homeless, cold and hungry in Melbourne at http://www.youthprojects.org.au/donate  Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

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