Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Young People Nominee
Program - Broken Hill Young Peoples Homelessness and Housing Support Service at Mission Australia
Please give your reasons for nominating this program.
Mission Australia’s (MA) Broken Hill Young Peoples Homelessness and Housing Support Service have excelled in providing a continuum of services to young people in the Far West, through a range of methods including one-on-one casework, group work, mentoring activities, tenancy / housing support, counseling, personal development programs, referrals to specialist services and access to alternative learning and employment programs.
MA have reached KPI’s and Annual Reporting requirements in the first 6 months of this period, and have supported 99 at risk and homeless young people, including supporting 2 young people to access long term leases, 14 into transitional units, 8 young people to relocate to family in other areas & 75 remaining in Safe appropriate Housing.
Our Services are committed to collaborative interagency early intervention and prevention initiatives delivered within the schools and community. An example of this is the Wellbeing Days that are delivered at each school. The focus of the wellbeing days is to increase awareness of healthy/unhealthy relationships. Our role involves sourcing programs, liaising with participating services including Schools, Bravehearts Project You Personal & Respectful Relationships Program, Mildura Youth Training Adventures, YMCA and the Integrated Violence Prevention Response Services from Health. Over 250 students participated in the Broken Hill Wellbeing Days, the feedback received from the School staff, services and students was overwhelmingly positive. Following is an extract from an email sent by a school:
“… The development, coordination and delivery of the Program required passion and commitment from all services involved but your staff stood out for their professionalism, dedication, passion and commitment. As you know it took many hours of hard work; working within an interagency approach and your staff did so with grace and integrity. Your staff are highly respected within the schools and the students engage extremely well with all your staff…”
What outcomes were delivered as a result of this program?
MA have developed strong relationships with private Real Estates and Compass Housing to achieve sustainable outcomes. In the last financial year we placed 41 young people into long term leases and 28 into transition units. This was a huge outcome given the lack of affordable housing within the Far West Region, particularly for young people.
We have a Youth Transition Program with Compass Housing, where young people are placed into one of 10 properties for a period of 3 – 6 months. MA work intensively with them in order to develop a rental history & living skills to transition into longer term accommodation.
Staff have developed strong linkages with schools & support services to ensure young people stay engaged in education and are appropriately housed. They attend weekly Learning Support Meetings within the schools and have strong partnerships with Health, FaCS, Juvenile Justice, Police, Housing Services and Corrections that enhance the capacity to deliver wrap-around services. Resulting in the delivery of the following programs: Re-Navigating Anger & Guilty Emotions, Lovebites, Crossroads Healthy Relationships, Talk Out Loud, Save a Mate, Seasons for Growth & Healing, Managing the Bull, Black Dog Mental Health Programs, Best Enemies, Pinnacles to Success & Bravehearts Project You.
The Broken Hill Young People’s Homeless and Housing Support Service has demonstrated collaborative and innovative service delivery to assist at risk and homeless young people within their service region. The service has coordinated interagency events and education sessions during National Homelessness week, Youth week and Mental Health month to raise awareness of the issues impacting on homelessness. The service has demonstrated both a commitment to early intervention and prevention aimed at reducing the occurrence of poor mental health, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol dependency which is factors contributing to homelessness.
Given the size and isolation of communities in the Far west it is difficult to provide effective and sustainable supports. The partnership approach they have embraced has ensured the delivery of quality and well supported programs. This was achieved by assuming facilitation or coordination roles in the delivery of interagency school based programs including Love Bites, Crossroads and Save A Mate, which are delivered annually to year groups at both local high schools since the service commenced. Mission Australia coordinated the school based wellbeing day activities. This involved sourcing programs, liaising with participating services including schools, Bravehearts, The Integrated Violence Prevention Response Services and the Mildura Youth Training Adventures, providing staff to support the delivery of the activities and developing a delivery plan. They also coordinated and brokered the delivery of the Braveheart’s Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure show in partnership with Bravehearts, The Integrated Violence Prevention Response Services and the Wilcannia Safe House. The Braveheart’s Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure show was delivered to 55 students in Wilcannia. The feedback received from the school staff, students and all services involved was extremely positive. As a result planning has begun for the partnered delivery of the program in Broken Hill and Menindee in 2018.