A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Program - Doorways to Independence at Uniting

Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Young People Nominee

Program - Doorways to Independence at Uniting

Please give your reasons for nominating this program.

I am nominating our Uniting “Doorways to Independence” program as a unique early intervention model of working with youth in the homelessness space on the Central Coast of NSW.
The 'Doorways to Independence' program has been developed by staff and management working for Uniting Doorways to meet the needs of an early intervention approach to homelessness for young people aged between 16yrs and 18yrs of age on the Central Coast of NSW.  Working in the youth homelessness space it was highlighted that there was no real early intervention approach to address homelessness for youth in our region.
Over 3 group work sessions within main stream and behavioural  high school setting we support students to gain knowledge and tools to build independence, resilience, life skills and communication, whilst giving an insight into homelessness, true housing and accommodation options in the local region, budgeting, goal setting as well as life and career pathway planning. It is a preventative approach to working with young people who could potentially become homeless.
The workshop is very interactive with the use of a presentation DVD from a previous service user about her journey through homelessness, and how she is managing now in her life. This tool has proven to be very engaging for the students.

What outcomes were delivered as a result of this program?

To evaluate the program we used pre and post evaluations completed by the students who attend the workshops. Feedback received via these forms is that the students have gained insight into the reality of the cost of private rentals, the importance of maintaining positive relationships with family and an understanding of local services which are available if they require support due to being at risk or homeless.
Evaluations are conducted with students pre and post delivery of the 'Doorways to Independence' program. It is hoped that Uniting will look at having this program formally evaluated in the near future

Reference statement:

Madison Parrott

Doorways to Independence Program Term 4 yr. 10 &11 students Narara Valley High facilitated by Uniting Doorways program Central Coast
How it was?
The doorways to independence program was run with a select group of students, the group itself was insightful and gave the students who attended lots to think about when it comes to their future.
The facilitators of the groups were accommodating and did a fantastic job engaging with the students.

What impact it had on students?
The students were impressed with the amount of information that was given. Students commented on the variety of information and said that all the Budgeting information was the most valuable.
Students also said they think it should be run on a larger scale for all students who will be leaving home in the near future (after school) as having an idea on what to expect when you leave home is important.

How well it was run.
The facilitators did a great job in accommodating NVHS, Students arrived late and some did not show up at all, the Facilitators were efficient and engaging and NVHS look forward to having them back in the future