On Sat, 10th of October 2020 people around the world will mark World Homeless Day to draw attention to the local needs of people experiencing homelessness and provide opportunities for communities to get involved in responding to homelessness.
Sunshine Coast is a popular holiday destination, but a tough place to live for many young people to settle, due to extreme housing costs, low average wages, social housing shortage and high rental competition. Add to this, COVID-19 impacts of business closures, unemployment and health concerns, 2020 has seen more local people and particularly young people experiencing homelessness.
“Like many other regions, homelessness is a problem in this community. Even before COVID-19, almost 128,000 young people 12 – 24 years old, were homeless in Australia every night. Most young people experiencing homelessness are hidden from view and aren’t homeless by choice. So just because you don’t see people sleeping rough in our streets doesn’t mean our community is immune to the problem.” Said Andrew Anderson, CEO of Youturn.
“It may interest or surprise you that the housing costs to average income on the Sunshine Coast, is 9:3 – the worst in Australia!” The reality according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is that Specialist youth homelessness services have insufficient beds to meet demand and they are forced to turn away one in two people who contact them for help,” continued Anderson.
“This week we recognise World Homelessness Day (10 October) and we believe it is fitting time to share with you our ambitious campaign and commitment to support our young people on their journey through temporary accommodation and onto independent sustainable housing. In order to achieve our long term vision of strengthening our community by tackling youth homelessness on the Sunshine Coast, we have set our sights on a substantial initiative to provide more access to stable housing for young people by raising funds to invest and build “tiny homes”, commented Anderson.
Anderson said: “This Big Hearts for Tiny Homes project is a first for our organisation and one that we are truly passionate about, but we cannot do it alone. Driven by the compassion and support of our community, our goal is to build Tiny Homes with a Big Heart. To achieve this we are looking towards our community and partners to support us with:
- Cash donations
- Trades people and companies to help with materials and labour
- Business and individuals to donate new material items such as white goods, furniture, linen etc
- Transport and set up of our tiny home”
Once the Tiny Homes are built, they will be available as short-term, transitional housing to young people aged 18-25 years who need homelessness support. After receiving support to resolve crisis in their lives, the young person may receive ongoing social support and tenancy in a Tiny Home, before taking the next step to independent living.
“We are particularly excited about the opportunity to build partnerships with the corporate community on the Sunshine Coast with IGA and Bendigo Bank Tewantin who are taking the lead by supporting and getting involved in our various initiatives. Whites’ IGA are selling our colourful branded wristbands with a positive message for a gold coin donation and Bendigo Banks employees will all be dressing up as Homelessness Heroes and challenging their network and branches to do the same – all helping us to fundraise for our Tiny Homes”, added Anderson.
To involve the wider community including our local schools and raise further awareness on the Sunshine Coast, Youturn have launched #YouturnRocks. “We are inviting and encouraging our community to share kindness and by painting smooth colourful rocks with positive or inspirational messages and then placing them in areas around the coastal parks and paths. You never know how one message on a rock found, could empower or make an impact on someone who is feeling lonely, depressed or even sleeping rough.
The rocks which are hidden are intended to be picked up, photographed and put on Facebook / Instagram with the hashtag #YouturnRocks, and then re-hidden in a different spot. We will also be hiding some very special rocks painted by local artists and challenging our communities to help us locate these treasured rocks.”
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Notes to the Editor:
Youturn is a not-for-profit based at Tewantin that was started 30 years ago to help address youth homelessness in the Noosa region. Since then, the organisation has grown substantially working with young people and those that support them, expanding their focus to include Child Safety, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and of course Homelessness.
Their humble beginnings started as a Youth Homelessness grass roots project in 1989 with the Noosa Accommodation Project (NAP) which was officially launched by 5 volunteers supporting six young people. They have grown significantly since then to work at 14 locations across Southern Queensland with a staff base of 180 employees and last year helped over 6,000 young people.
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Youturn Youth Support Tewantin media contact:
Media, Communications and Events Manager
Mob: 0474 421 100