A stable home
A stable home is fundamental to achieve independence and participation. In 2017-18, we helped people find and sustain safe, suitable, affordable homes so they can build successful lives.
Our YFS Connect team continued to respond to homelessness, acting as a de-facto homelessness hub for Logan in the absence of a government-funded service.
The YFS Connect team helps people access crisis accommodation and link with longer term solutions and supports. In 2017-18, YFS Connect staff stabilised or secured housing for more than 200 people and families, using a combination of emergency relief funding and short-term case work.
This quick win approach is in addition to the work of our YFS case managers, who helped hundreds of families and individuals move into stable housing. Homelessness continues to be a significant issue for clients across all YFS services. In 2017-18, people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness ranged from 21% in Youth Link to 95% in our Housing First team.
Staff in all of our case management teams are equipped to respond to homelessness as well as other issues.
Through the Queensland Government’s Dignity First Fund, participants at Substation33 developed and built eight mobile phone charging units for Logan people experiencing homelessness. These are now available at places like YFS premises for use by people who are seeking support and services.
2017-18 marked the end of an era for YFS. We relinquished our role as property managers of 24 housing units in Woodridge to focus on our core business of providing support. YFS now only manages 14 crisis accommodation properties associated with our housing support service.
Looking forward in 2018-19
Innovation and inspiration
In March 2018 we kicked off our Spark program, working with public housing tenants under the Department of Housing’s Tenant Engagement Strategy.
Our Spark project worker connects people in Logan public housing with opportunities to work, learn, volunteer or start their own small businesses. In its first three months, Spark inspired 20 people to participate in the community. For example, Noel started by training and volunteering before gaining a job with a flower wholesaler with help from Spark and Substation33.
The Department’s Tenant Engagement Strategy aims to support tenants’ social, cultural and economic participation in the community. Spark brings this to life by linking tenants with existing employment, entrepreneurship and training initiatives in Logan as well as by providing additional backing to link them with work.
In 2017, YFS began surveying clients from our Housing First team to track the long-term impact of our work with people experiencing homelessness. As expected, we have encountered difficulties contacting more than half of the people who we have worked with to secure housing. Of those we could contact, 83% of people reported that their housing was still stable, affordable and appropriate. As well as providing insights into clients’ progress after they finish working with us, the survey is an opportunity to offer additional support, especially around the six to seven month mark when leases are up for renewal.
People who sustain stable housing after YFS helps them find a home
“Sometimes you get so set in your own ways so that when something comes up like a financial change or a personal issue, you can’t always see what’s happening to you clearly. Without Renae and the Step by Step team, I wouldn’t be as strong in myself. They seem to make me stronger and see things in ways that I don’t see.”