THREE North Coast agencies have been chosen to provide a vital accommodation support service in the region.
Homelessness Assistance Youth Service, YP Space MNC and Northern Rivers Social Development Council will provide the service, aimed at helping young offenders with a history of homelessness to gain independent living and stay out of custody.
“After a thorough tender process, the supported accommodation service contract was awarded to (the) joint application,” said Juvenile Justice chief executive John Hubby.
“The contract provides more than $1.4 million to the organisations for the next three years.
“The service will target young offenders aged 13 to 18 years with complex needs and a history of homelessness.
“It is important for the service to reach young people leaving detention, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and those under 16 years old.”
Mr Hubby said the most recent survey of young people in custody revealed 6% were in unsettled accommodation or had ‘no fixed place of abode’, with young women representing 18%.
More than one-quarter (27%) had moved two or more times in the six months before custody and this was more for Aboriginal young people at nearly a third (32 %).
“By providing the supported accommodation service, the Department of Human Services NSW is aiming to ensure lasting change in the life of a young offender with a history of homelessness and assist in their re-integration into community living,” Mr Hubby said.
Support services to be offered include:
improving a young person’s social and community living skills;
providing vocational, educational and training opportunities;
linking young people to counselling; and
- active involvement in the young person’s family and support network.